Senegal: consultative workshop on reducing the impact of infrastructures on coastal ecosystems

A workshop on “Reducing the impact of infrastructures on coastal ecosystems: issues and challenges for Senegal” was organized 4-6 December 2018 in Somone and Toubab Dialaw, Senegal by GAIA (Action and Initiative Group for an alternative development) and APPEL (Alliance of Parliamentarians and locally elected officials for the environment). Indeed, although the construction of infrastructures in coastal areas is vital for the economic development of our countries, it does not sufficiently take into consideration the conservation of natural ecosystems that often undergo irreversible degradation.

To address this, the MAVA-funded regional project for a reduced impact of infrastructural projects (PRISE) and its partners intend to work towards establishing a national multistakeholder dialogue framework and organizing national awareness-raising campaigns for decision-makers, MPs local elected officials and stakeholders in order to throw the trend into reverse. Such was the framework in which the workshop took place.

Participants were driven to the Somone lagoon and the Bandia reserve in order for them to observe first-hand the status of those works that have a direct negative impact on biodiversity in and around the priority sites. The opportunity of the workshop was seized to provide preliminary responses, the most urgent of which was to dredge the lagoon. In addition, all the stakeholders attempted to make their input to the discussions on the key issue of how to successfully build infrastructures that fit in ecosystems and capture the communities’ concerns and interests.