Senegal in West Africa is especially dynamic both in terms of coastal resilience development and creating marine protected areas, six of which been set up in the last two years. The Ocean Governance project’s Resilience Partnership has also in recent years developed a close collaboration with its Directorate of Community Marine Protected Areas to ensure the implementation of the Resilience Self-Assessment Tool (R-SAT) across these marine protected areas. It was therefore a natural choice as the location for the annual workshop of the Resilience Partnership, which took place on 3rd-5th May 2022 in Saly, hosted by the National Directorate of Community Marine Protected Areas (DAMCP).
At the workshop, the 14 participants reviewed the annual workplan, shared experiences from their regions and considered future opportunities. They discussed challenges and opportunities regarding the development of new tools and the expansion of R-SAT to the many other MPAs interested in applying it. The meeting was also the occasion to discuss the need to train trainers on R-SAT implementation to develop the directorate’s autonomy in applying the tool in the future. During a field visit, they had the opportunity to meet MPA managers in Senegal who have used the toolkit to evaluate MPA resilience capacities.
About the Resilience Partnership
The Resilience Partnership was developed as a twinning project between MPA managers around the Atlantic basin from 2016. Its objective is to share experiences, tools and approaches regarding management strategies to cope with rapidly changing environments, and the contribution of MPAs to the resilience of coastal areas. The lead partners are situated in Gabon, Senegal, Brazil, Portugal, Mexico and USA. A work programme has also been set up with the West African MPA network (RAMPAO/WAMPAN) and with Senegal’s DAMCP.
Field visit provides chance to meet local users of R-SAT tool
During a field visit to Joal Fadiouth – comprising the important fishing town of Joal and the connected clam-shell island of Fadiouth – the visitors met fishers to view catch sizes, visited mangrove restoration works and discussed MPA managers’ experience of using the R-SAT tool.
“All participants could see that the feedback from these managers was particularly positive, especially as the recommendations from the assessment started to be implemented in the months following the assessment, and have already produced some of the results that were expected. The managers highlighted the easy use of R-SAT, and all the benefits that can be derived from the self-assessment process beyond the direct results of the tool,” noted the workshop report.
The meeting outcomes and recommendations – which focused on how to enhance the R-SAT tool and provide more support to its users – will feed in to an update of the partnership’s action plan.