Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
colbartn.gif (4535 octets)

University Chair Summary
UNESCO Chair in Integrated Management and Sustainable Development of Coastal Regions and Small Islands, Cheikh Anta Diop University

Revision date: 16th May, 2002.
Title:  UNESCO Chair in Integrated Management and Sustainable Development of Coastal Regions and Small Islands.
Goals: To develop national and sub-regional expertise in sustainable development of coastal regions through a multi-disciplinary postgraduate training programme involving theoretical and practical components.
Location: Département de géographie, Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Sénégal.
Starting date: The Chair was established on 2nd April 1997.
Partners: The following faculties and institutions of the Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD): Higher Polytechnics School, Faculty of Economics and Management, Faculty of Science and Techniques, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Stomatology, Fundamental Institute for Black Africa, Centre for Ecological Monitoring and the Environment; Oceanographic Research Centre of Dakar-Thiaroye; Consulting Society for Soil Planning; non-governmental organizations: Environment et Development in the Third World - Economie Populaire, Oceanium, World Wildlife Fund, Wetlands International, University of Perpignan, France, University of Grand Canaria, Spain, Development Research Institute, France; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): Dakar Office, Sectors for Social and Human Sciences (Management of Social Transformation intergovernmental programme), Education (Division of Higher Education), and Natural Sciences (Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform).
Contact person: Prof. Mamadou Kandji, Dean, Faculté des Lettres & Sciences Humaines, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, B.P. 5005, Dakar-Fann, Sénégal.
Tel: 221 825 2960, Fax: 221 825 4977
mkandji@ucad.sn mamdoukandji@yahoo.fr

Prof. S. Diop (1997-1998), e-mail Salif.Diop@unep.org
Prof . M. Sall (1999 – June 2000)
Prof. A. Kane (Since July 2000 ), e-mail akane@ucad.sn


The Chair provides theoretical and practical postgraduate training to Senegalese students, and to West African students, on integrated coastal management for the sustainable development of people living in coastal areas.  A multi-disciplinary grouping of themes considered priorities in the sub-region have been favoured, covering natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, law and economics. The training includes lectures, laboratory work, fieldwork and pilot projects. 

  1. Lectures, seminars and conferences are conducted on the following topics:

  • Research methodologies,

  • Guiding principles of integrated management and sustainable development in African coastal regions,

  • Biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems,

  • Pollution of groundwater in coastal regions,

  • Pollution of marine and estuarine waters, impacts on aquatic ecosystems and human health,

  • Innovative management and  sustainable development of fishing activities in Senegal,

  • Impacts of continental fishing on development,

  • Management of fishing resources,

  • Legal aspects of sustainable development of coastal regions and small islands,

  • Accelerated method of participative research, the sociological and socio-economic aspects of development,

  • Management of rural lands and dynamics in littoral regions,

  • Morphodynamics and evolution in estuarine and littoral environments,

  • Socio-economic impacts of tourism development in Senegalese coastal areas,

  • Sustainable development of coastal cities in West Africa,

  • States, societies and development: example from the insular tropical environment,

  • Conception, rules and cultural organisations of populations in relation to coastal environments,

  • Economic assessment of coastal regions management,

  • Economic aspects of coastal regions development.

  1. Laboratory practicals are carried out in new and innovative computer technology: computer-programming, Word and Excel software, Internet; as well as areas related to lecture topics such as remote sensing and water chemistry, and others as necessary.  

  2. Fieldwork is focused around different topics including the following:

  • Pollution of marine and coastal areas,

  • Coastal erosion and protection of coastal cities,

  • Purification of polluted waters in coastal areas,

  • Non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) involvement in the participative management of local communities in coastal cities,

  • Coastal tourism development  and its impacts on sustainable development,

  • Land use and hydro-agricultural development issues in the Senegal River Delta,

  • Reforestation of mangrove areas,

  • Degradation of lake shore ecosystems.

Field study areas include the Madeleine Islands, the Biosphere Reserve of the Saloum Delta, Nema Bah, Bird Islet, the estuary of the Senegal River from Diama dam to the mouth of the Senegal River, the coastal communities in Yoff and Yeumbeul - part of the Greater Dakar’s suburban areas. 

  1. Field projects have been initiated and conducted by the UNESCO Chair and its students in the following areas:

  • Hygiene and environmental improvement in a coastal city, Yeumbeul, Senegal: groundwater quality and parasitology (1996-1998) (summary, assessment); 

  • Socio-cultural issues in a traditional coastal community, Yoff, Senegal: conservation of cultural and biological diversity (1997-1999) (summary, assessment); 

  • Other smaller–scale projects on the Senegalese coast (Sine-Saloum, Casamance, Senegal River): mangrove ecosystem restoration and natural resources management (summary, assessment).

Achievements & assessment:
  1. Research and teaching activities: between 1997 and 2001, 70 students (57 holding a postgraduate degree) participated in the UNESCO Chair.  These students were from Senegal (the majority), Mauritania, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire and France. An evaluation of the teaching programme by the students highlighted the following:

  • While the global nature of the teaching is interesting, its relevance needs to be reinforced. 

  • There is a need to strengthen as much as possible the interdisciplinary nature of the Chair. 

  • Many of the students who participated in the Chair, now work in NGOs, development agencies or are reading for theses.  They maintain that the interdisciplinary nature of the Chair has helped them deal with development issues with a wider, clearer vision. 

  • The number of students should be reduced from 15 to 10 per year, with a view to improving their performance and minimising job uncertainty.

  1. Field projects: the  three field projects (Yeumbeul, Yoff and Saloum) and other small-scale projects have been beneficial to the students, providing them with practical real-life experience. 

  2. Other activities: these have included:

  • An information day (27th April 1997), when research work was presented by UCAD and local partners on the groundwater pollution in Yeumbeul, a disadvantaged suburban district of Dakar. 

  • Seminar on ‘Wise practices for the sustainable development of coastal areas and islands’ on 4 May 1998. 

  • Presentation of the UNESCO Chair’s objectives, teachings and achievements to the fifth session of the Regional Committee of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission for the Central East Atlantic, Dakar, 5-12 May 2000. 

  • Together with UNESCO Clubs (groups comprising mainly youngsters, who undertake activities inspired by UNESCO’s work), the UNESCO Chair has participated in the running of Environment Day (5th June 2001) by visiting a reforestation site in the Biosphere Reserve of the Saloum Delta, and holding a debate on the reasons for failure or success of the mangrove swamp reforestation. 

  • Donors’ awareness and fund raising open day in Dakar, 22nd March 2002.

Future directions:

The long-term objective is to continue to offer theoretical and intersectoral high level training in sustainable development in coastal West Africa, including field projects.  

The short-term objectives are to provide ten students each year with intersectoral training on integrated coastal management and sustainable development focusing on themes having priority for Western Africa (Senegal and the bordering countries), including field projects.                       

Provide scientific support to local populations, specifically advice on development priorities and management methods. 

Document the lessons learned in interdisciplinary teaching.


Introduction Activities Publications Search
Wise Practices Regions Themes