12.07.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

A new biosphere reserve in the Ferlo region in Senegal

© PASEF - 2010

Located in the northeast corner of Senegal in the region of the Ferlo, the fifth Biosphere Reserve in Senegal has been added to UNESCO's "Man and Biosphere Programme". The new biosphere reserve covers a total area of 2,058,000 ha.

Despite the threats of drought and human activities pose to the ecosystem, the reserve has a remarkable variety of flora and fauna.

In particular, the Ferlo is home to emblematic species like the redneck ostrich, the red fronted gazelle and the endangered African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon).

Traditional activities include pastoralism and agriculture. Ecotourism, aquaculture or sustainable forestry will be promoted in order to diversify sources of income of the population. Ferlo also hosts several research institutions.

Preparation of candidature

UNESCO Dakar has been in charge of coordinating the Ferlo Biosphere Reserve candidature, as part of a joint project between the Government of Senegal and several UN agencies.

The project is devoted to improve and valorize forest ecosystems services in Senegal (Projet d'amélioration et de valorisation des services des écosystèmes forestiers au Sénégal (PASEF)).

The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), meeting in Paris from 9 to 13 July 2012, has added 20 new sites, including two transboundary, to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). The network now includes 598 reserves in 117 countries.

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