Mali's Government launches the implementation of the National Action Plan for wetland management (PAZU)
Mali's government has officially launched the implementation of its national wetland policy, after it was adopted in September 2003. A ministerial decree (n° 05-2252/MAE- SG of 28th September 2005) has led to the creation of the coordination unit for the National Action Plan for Wetland Management (PAZU, the national wetland policy action plan). This newly-created structure will depend upon the National Directorate for Nature Conservation and will have the following mission:
i) monitoring of the programme's implementation;
ii) putting a partnership framework in place for the project's implementation;
iii) building, managing and distributing a wetlands database;
iv) formulating and supporting the implementation of management plans and sectoral management schemes;
v) running a capacity building programme in order to ensure users' effective representation and participation (organisation of national wetland committee);
vi) producing legal and statutory tools for the management of wetlands in Mali;
vii) allocating financial support to plans and projects proposed by decentralised authorities, riparian communities and other user groups.
According to an agreement (PIR.10885/Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) between the Netherlands and Mali, the unit benefits from financial support from the Netherlands: 540,000,000 FCFA have been allocated to the PAZU budget for the five years of its implementation, shared between the Malian (50,000,000) and Dutch (458,000,000) governments, the Ramsar Secretariat and WWF (32,000,000). The PAZU project will cover the period between November 2004 and 2008.
Another ministerial decree (n°05-2441/MAE- SG of 12 October 2005) nominates Mr. Soumana TIMBO [left], Water and Forest Engineer and Focal Point of the Ramsar Convention in Mali, coordinator of the PAZU coordination unit.
We would like to point out that this is the first time an African francophone state has created such a structure aimed at furthering the Convention's implementation in Africa.
Mali ratified the Ramsar Convention on 25 May 1987 and has since designated several Ramsar sites, including the Inner Niger Delta, Africa's second biggest site with a total area of 4,119,500 ha.
While the Ramsar Secretariat congratulates the Malian government for this endeavor, it encourages other African countries party to Ramsar to follow suit and to start, within their available means, similar initiatives in response to Recommendation 6.9 (adopted at COP6 in March 1996 in Brisbane, Australia), which encourages cooperation between Contracting Parties, the Ramsar Bureau and other partners for the preparation and implementation of national wetland policies.