Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Socio-cultural survey of the Yoff coastal community, Senegal: conserving biological and cultural diversity

One of the results of the "Ecoville-Ecovillage" conference (Dakar, January 1996) was a project involving UNESCO to help protect the socio-cultural identity and the biodiversity of the Yoff coastal community (region of Dakar, Senegal) and surrounding areas. As a test for the project's potential for success, a socio-cultural survey was conducted (with favourable results) in the Lebou language by a local youth association, APECSI, amongst nearly 1900 village people.

The linkages between biodiversity and local Lebou traditions, legends, ceremonies and practices related to the sacred island of Yoff, are to be studied with a view to promoting the conservation of both cultural and biological diversity. Further research should contribute to the foundations for sustainable development and management of the coastal region, keeping in mind the cultural aspirations of the local community. APECSI is finalizing, with UNESCO-Dakar support, a video film on this historical village, established some 400 years ago, well before the colonization of Africa began.

The village is facing a serious coastal erosion problem; the outer row of fisherfolk houses have already been destroyed by the sea and thus abandoned by the population. Assistance from specialists in coastal dynamics/processes is an urgent requirement.

Results of coastal erosion.
Photograph taken in the centre of the Yoff village


For more information, contact:

UNESCO-Dakar Office
12 Avenue Roume, BP 3311
Dakar, Senegal,
fax (221) 238393


UNESCO-CSI, csi@unesco.org

Local/regional contact:

Tel. 00221235082, 00221238441 Mr.Pius Obanya (Director of UNESCO-Dakar Office)
12 Avenue Roume B.P. 3311
Fax: 221238393, Telex:5141OUNESCO SG+21735 UNESCO SG

The Dakar Office represents UNESCO in:
Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone

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