Ramsar projects in Sahel : encouraging results for two threatened wetlands !
Last November Burkina Faso and Senegal welcomed a Ramsar mission assessing two projects supported by the Small Grants Fund and the Swiss Grant for Africa. A representative of the NGO implementing the project, a representative of the Administrative Authority in the case of Burkina Faso, and Alexia Dufour, Ramsar Regional Affairs Officer, met the grant beneficiaries and visited the sites, two Sahelian lakes, “la mare d’Oursi”, a Ramsar site near Dori, north-east of Burkina Faso, and “la mare de Lothiandé”, few kilometers from Bakel, in the far east of Senegal. These two wetlands play a crucial role for agriculture, fish, cattle and birds, functions threatened by desertification.
The NGOs, ADRN/SB in Burkina Faso and LEAD Afrique Francophone in Senegal, raised awareness, developed alternative livelihoods, contributed to poverty reduction (resolution IX.14) and to a wiser use of natural resources. The mission report (in French) gives more details on the key results, the methods and tools used, the successes and obstacles.
The beneficiaries, rather skeptical at the beginning of the projects, are entirely satisfied with the results and are highly motivated to extend the projects and the ongoing activities on a larger scale.