27 December 2018

Unesco1 EtholioOn December 2018, the SGP organized ICCA-GSI workshops to launch two projects in Pays Bassari, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012.  The workshop was chaired by the Sub-Prefect (a government authority) and participated by multi-level actors including the ICCA community members, government authorities from the Forest Department, mayors, village chiefs, religious authorities, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the SGP National Coordinator and SGP National Steering Committee.

Located in south-east Senegal, Pays Bassari is a remarkably preserved landscape that is shaped by the complex interactions among environmental factors, land-use practices, settlements, social rules and beliefs. It represents an outstanding example of human interaction with a vulnerable environment. Its sustenance in the long term requires contribution from each area in the region to reinforce the Outstanding Universal Value of the whole system and the profound cultural connections between humans and nature. Currently, however, anthropogenic pressures are leading to deforestation and disappearance of animal species, including those listed in IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.

To this end, the ICCA-GSI projects seek to accelerate a stronger collaboration among all authorities, organizations and communities, who are responsible at different levels for the protection and management of these sites. The objective of these collaborations are aimed at (i) strengthening the governance bodies of the 2 ICCAs; (ii) establishing a code of conduct for access to natural resources based on traditional practices and incorporating relevant provisions of Senegal’s laws relating to environmental protection; (iii) awareness-raising through extensive campaigns conducted in partnership with media channels, especially local radios; (iv) organizing annual events dedicated to ICCAs that coincide with initiation ceremonies organized in the sacred space at the mountain level; (v) training on sustainable practices for natural resource management, including those that generate income-generating activities; (vi) determining the health of the ecosystem via ICCA Security and Resilience Index; and resource inventory through CCPA wildlife inventory techniques.

Background of Projects
The Projet d'appui à l'APAC de la Montagne de Pathé, Eteund Ed Ané is located in the ICCA of Mountain Euteud Ané or Pathé Mountain. This mountain is the heart of Pays Bassari and shelters water sources, a forest and natural caves that have offered a favorable environment for the establishment of different cultural clusters. It is home to numerous villages surrounding the border between Senegal and Guinea. This sacred mountain plays a vital role in Bassari culture and is the privileged place where important customary rites are organized. It is also a refuge for chimpanzees that move on both sides of this border. However, human pressure has resulted to deforestation, which in turn disrupts rainfall patterns. Such threats lead to the disappearance of chimpanzees (Critically Endangered) and Guinea baboons (Near Threatened). Today, it is estimated that only 20 chimpanzees are left in the Pathé Mountain forest. Additionally, the number of Guinea baboons are now considerably reduced, only seen from time to time along the Gambia River gallery forest.

For more information, please visit the project page.

The Projet d'appui à l'APAC de la Rivière Atiékégne is located in the Sedou River. This river is known for its unusual and mystical features such as it never dries up, and as winter approaches, its water volume significantly increases even before rain arrives. It is bordered by a gallery forest that is distinguished by its lush flora, abundant wildlife and particularly cool and mild microclimate. It is also inhabited by many communities such as the Ebarack, Egnissara (west), Ethiolo (north), Madina Archage (next to the left bank), Egathie (north-west), and the Chamou and Edine. Currently, its rich biodiversity is under a lot of pressure from the population growth.

For more information, please visit the project page.

Please find the workshop report in French.
Please view Senegal’s ICCA-GSI Country Profile for strategies and other ICCA-GSI projects.

For the Global Support Initiative to ICCAs (ICCA-GSI) homepage, please click here