Senegal is one of the countries strongly involved in the utilisation and promotion of the R-SAT tool, which helps managers of Marine Protected Areas to assess and increase their MPAs resilience to rapid changes, such as climate change impacts. From 4th to 9th December 2022, the Resilience Twinning, coordinated by Jean-Jacques Goussard, organised a Training of Trainers for the R-SAT tool in Toubacouta, Senegal, to further expand the excellent partnership the Ocean Governance Project has with this country. This Training of Trainers took place as a response to an increasing demand from the side of our partners at the National Directorate of Community Marine Protected Areas (DAMCP), who have already experienced the benefits of a first Training of Trainers in May 2022.

12 MPA managers and conservationists were selected to participate in this second training, which was facilitated by Jean-Jacques Goussard and our resilience partner for Africa, Mathieu Ducrocq. Some representatives of the DAMCP as well as the French MPA Mangroves Project, which co-funded the training, also attended. The participants came from different regions across the whole country to ensure a wide dissemination of the expertise gained in the workshop.

During the six-day-long training, the participants did not only get theoretical input about the notion of resilience and its implications for MPA management. They also worked together on a practical case study by applying the R-SAT tool to different Senegalese national parks, for instance the Langue de Barbarie National Park and the Bamboung MPA. The group was also taught the proper use of the resilience online platform, which they can pass on by replicating the training with their teams and wider network in the future.

The training has proven to have a dual benefit, as it does not only create autonomous managers who can promote the correct use of the R-SAT tool, but through the case studies at the same time increases the number of self-assessments completed and stored on the resilience platform. Interviews with the Director of the DAMCP, the Head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Department and the Coordinator of the MPA Mangroves project showed that DAMCP officials and staff highly appreciated this educational opportunity. The Resilience Twinning will certainly continue this format of Training of Trainers in 2023, and has started to update the didactic material for an improved learning experience.