Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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The Republic of Senegal

A major contribution to the development and refinement of CSI’s scope and objectives was provided by a specialist from Senegal who attended the ‘CSI Experts Meeting’ in Paris, France in November 1996; he acted as chairperson.

Interdisciplinary studies of the Saloum and Senegal estuaries were conducted in 1996; nine specialists from Equipe pluridisciplinaire d’étude des écosystèmes côtiers (EPEEC), a local NGO were involved. They continued their studies in 1997 and extended them to the Somone Lagoon.

A Senegalese specialist helped to draft a project document on studies and protection of coastal biodiversity in West Africa which was submitted to the EC for funding; he participated in the concluding meeting (Paris, France, May 1996).

The first phase of a field project, started in 1996, (co-sponsored by the Management of Social Transformations programme (MOST) and the Programme on Man and the Biosphere, MAB) on the amelioration of living conditions in the coastal community of Yeumbeul (region of Dakar) was completed, and the corresponding report published as CSI Info 3: ‘Qualité de l’eau de la nappe phréatique à Yeumbeul, Sénégal’ (July 1997). Six researchers were involved in sanitary and epidemiological studies in the coastal region of Yeumbeul between November 1997 and July 1998. In Yeumbeul, studies of the physical, chemical and bacteriological characteristics of the ground water were continued in March 1998, following which a summary report and a poster were issued. A specialist from Senegal was given a grant to attend an international conference in Germany on ‘Protection of Drinking Water Resources’ in November 1998, where he presented a paper on ground water studies in Yeumbeul.

Another field project (co-sponsored by MAB) on the protection of socio-cultural identity and biological diversity in the coastal site around the community of Yoff (region of Dakar) was initiated in 1996. A socio-cultural survey was completed as part of this project and reported in English and French. A coastal erosion study to determine the evolution rate of the coastline, causes of erosion and to establish a coastal monitoring system was initiated in July 1997. Various activities such as a regional workshop on ‘Awareness-building and Training on Biodiversity Conservation in Africa’ (Dakar, June 1996), a regional seminar on ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development’ (Dakar, October 1996) and a celebration of the ‘World Environment Day’ in Senegal (June 1996) were supported, jointly with MAB; they were well attended.

A specialist from Senegal attended a workshop (co-sponsored by MAB and the World Heritage Commission, WHC) on ‘Awareness-building and Training on Biodiversity Conservation in Natural World Heritage Sites of West and Central Africa’ (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, June 1996). A project on awareness-building in three coastal villages related to the impact of drought and desertification on mangrove ecosystems and on rehabilitation of degraded lands was initiated in 1997; it was co-sponsored by MAB. A training course in sustainable mangrove exploitation and reforestation including field demonstrations was held in October 1997, it was attended by 43 local participants.

A field project on the conservation and restoration of the mangrove swamp ecosystem of the Saloum Delta Biosphere Reserve started in 1987. A study of mangrove ecosystems at selected sites was completed and three scientists contributed papers to the CSI-supported volume ‘Mangrove Ecosystem Studies in Latin America and Africa’ (UNESCO, 1997). Field studies in February 1998 on the deterioration of mangroves and their rehabilitation in the biosphere reserve of the Saloum Delta (village of Djilor) were supported by CSI and MAB. This included a workshop for the local population on the rehabilitation of the degraded ecosystem and mangrove reforestation techniques.

Senegal organized and hosted a national workshop on ‘La Restauration des écosystems côtières dégradés’ in February 1998. This was followed by a second workshop on ‘Contribution à l’élaboration de ‘pratiques éclairées’ en vue du développement durable des régions côtières et des petites îles’ in May, which was attended by 19 national specialists and students and five international experts.

These studies and publications contribute to joint efforts (with the ‘Cities’ project of the Social Science Sector) to ameliorate the living conditions of the local population. In Yoff, sociological and environmental studies of the local community were undertaken between April and June 1998 and a corresponding report was drafted. The Yoff community was provided with a set of CSI posters relating to the biodiversity and cultural diversity of this village and its surroundings. An educational campaign on environmental matters was initiated at the end of 1998 through a local NGO in selected schools in the Biosphere Reserve of the Saloum Delta.

An expert from Senegal was given a travel grant in April 1998 to assist in the organization of a workshop as part of the ‘Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Integrated Coastal Management (PACSICOM)’. This workshop was organized jointly with the UNESCO Communication and Education Sectors, and the UNESCO Dakar, Maputo, Nairobi and Pretoria Offices and took place in Maputo in July 1998; one national expert attended it. The proceedings of the workshop: ‘The Role of Communication and Education for Sustainable Coastal Development’, with a keynote paper by the Senegalese delegate, was published as CSI info 7 in English and French.

Two experts from Senegal attended the intersectoral workshop ‘Towards Wise Coastal Development Practices’ held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in the beginning of December 1998. A report on the workshop was published in English and French as CSI info 10 (2000): ‘Pratiques Eclairées pour un Développement Humain Durable dans les Régions Côtières. Résultats d’un Atelier Intersectorial et des Conclusions Préliminaires d’un Forum Virtuel Subséquent’. It contains a paper on the Yeumbeul/Yoff project.

A ‘UNESCO Chair in Coastal Management and Sustainable Development’ was established at the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar in April 1997. An agreement to co-operate between two UNESCO Chairs on: ‘Sustainable Tourism Development’ at the University of Las Palmas and ‘Integrated Coastal Management and Sustainable Development’ at the University of Dakar, was signed in May 1998. Two experts from Senegal visited the University of Las Palmas in June 1998. A report on ‘Sortie pedagogiques de la Chair UNESCO/UCAD’ was issued in July 1998. Computer equipment was provided for the Chair activities. Eleven students graduated from the first one-year DEA course in November 1998. They were involved, together with national and international scientists, in a series of pilot projects in the coastal villages of Yeumbeul and Yoff, and in the Somone and Saloum area. A first denitrification module was produced and tested, and a corresponding report issued in November 1998. In 1999 the Dakar Chair enlarged its geographical scope to include students from Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Mauritania and through its formal co-operation with the UNESCO Chair at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) on eco-tourism (which is supported by MOST). Students from the Chair provided public information and assistance to the villagers of Yeumbeul and Malika during World Environmental Day (5 June) as part of an interdisciplinary (MOST/CSI/MAB) project on ‘Improving the Living Conditions in Coastal Villages’. Funding difficulties have slowed the graduation rate: only eight of the fourteen students graduated from the Chair in December 1999. Assistance was provided to one person at Dakar university, enabling him to complete his Ph.D. Fifteen students from Senegal, Mauritania and France took a year-long, post-graduate course on sustainable development of coastal regions that was offered in 2000 as part of the UNESCO Dakar Chair; thirteen graduated. A new course on informatics was introduced. Theoretical courses were complemented by field trips to the Saloum Biosphere Reserve, the village of Yoff, the north coast at Mboro, Saint Louis and the National Park of Banc d’Arguin in Mauritania. There is now a web site, hosted by the University of Dakar, about the UNESCO Chair and the courses offered. Seven out of nine students graduated from Chair courses in December 2001. Also in December 2001 fifteen people, some of them students, began an assessment of the Chair in terms of it adherence to sixteen wise practice characteristics. They issued a report in English and French. Two Professors from Senegal continued Chair activities in 2002. A summary of the Chair was compiled in May 2002 in English and French.

In July 2001 two three-year field projects were started: ‘Préservation et Valorisation des Paysages et des Ressources Environnementales dans la Grande Côte Sénégalaise de Saint-Louis à Dakar’ and a second on the Lesser Senegalese Coast. These projects will be the basis for DEA research and will provide students with on-the-job training while contributing to a better understanding of the link between social and environmental problems on the Senegalese coast.

One participant from Senegal attended an international seminar on ‘Sustainable Development in the Coastal Zones’ held in Mahdia, Tunisia, in June 1999. A report on the seminar was published as CSI info 8 (2000) ‘Développement Urbain Durable en Zone Côtière. Actes du Séminaire International’.

The themes of ‘Changing Attitudes to Water Pollution / Yeumbeul - Senegal’, ‘Restoration of Mangrove / Saloum Delta - Senegal’ and ‘Combining Traditional and Modern Practices in Fisheries / Sine - Saloum - Senegal’ have been discussed on the web-based ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ Forum since mid-1999. Additions to the discussions in 2000 included: ‘A Cost Saving Approach to the Supply of Potable Water’ and ‘Toward Coastal Impact Studies’. A report on the forum Work in Progress 2’ /  ‘Progrès Accomplis 2’ / ‘Avance de Actividades 2 was published in November 2000; two people from Senegal contributed to it.

A publication on the history, culture and religion of the Lébou people in Yoff was produced as CSI papers 7 (2000) ‘Yoff le Territoire Assiégé. Un Village Lébou dans la Banlieue de Dakar’.

Two people from Senegal attended a workshop for CSI field project leaders on ‘Wise Practices for Conflict Prevention and Resolution’, which was held in Mozambique in November 2001. They presented a paper on ‘Natural Resource Management Conflicts in the Saloum Delta Biosphere Reserve, Senegal’. A report of the workshop was published as CSI papers 12: ‘Managing Conflicts Over Resources and Values: Continental Coasts’.

An ‘Open Day’ was held at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in March 2002 to show the public what the University and the UNESCO Chair were contributing to the integrated management and sustainable development of coastal regions and small islands.

A summary (English/French) of the field project ‘Sustaining Human and Environmental Health in Peri-urban Coastal Communities, Dakar Senegal/ Préserver la Quailté de l’Environnement Naturel et humain dans les Communautés Côières Peri-urbaines, Dakar, Sénégal’ was compiled in May 2002. Individual assessments of the project in the areas concerned: Yeumbeul (English/French), Yoff (English/French) and Saloum (English/French) were completed in May 2002. A report on project activities in 2000-2001 was published as Contribution a l’Etude de la Qualité des Eaux d’Approvisionnement en Rapport avec une Approche Socio-Economique a Yeumbeul (Sénégal)’.

In August 2002 an international fieldwork camp on the reforestation of the mangroves of the Saloum Delta was organised jointly by the UNESCO Chair at Cheikh Anta Diop University and the Senegalese and French federations of the UNESCO Club.

As part of the UNESCO Chair at Cheikh Anta Diop Universitys project on Application of Remote Sensing for Integrated Management of Ecosystems and Water Resources in Africa a national workshop was held in October 2002 to build capacity in remote sensing.

The project leader for the Yeumbeul project conducted research to determine types of rubbish, measure the quality of the ground-water and study optimization strategies from June to December 2002.


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