Senegal: Expanding access to environmental finance - Reversing the decline in forest ecosystem services
Senegal is experiencing a high rate of environmental degradation, with rapid deforestation, soil erosion, loss of arable land and a rise in air and water pollution. The Joint Programme was designed to reverse the decline in Senegal's forest ecosystems and to encourage the sustainable use of forest ecosystem services, with the aim of improving livelihoods for vulnerable groups in those areas.
This approach was complemented by national and local research on population mobility and ecosystem and climate changes in Senegal. The programme's goals were:
- Improving information on the total economic value of critical forest ecosystem services and gaining a better understanding of the political, economic and social strategies required for their management;
- Using information on the value of ecosystem services to guide the revision of Senegal's tax system, with a special emphasis on developing eco-taxes and rebates to encourage the sustainable use of forest ecosystem services and prevent urban and rural migration;
- Improving the ownership and participation of local communities, non-governmental actors and the private sector in the revision of the forestry fiscal regime.
Main achievements included:
- The programme contributed to a better understanding of Forest Ecosystem Services (SEF). A study conducted in 11 project sites helped provide a basis for mapping and digital data on the SEF, and resulted in improved knowledge of forest ecosystems by the Ecological Monitoring Centre and a strengthening its toolkits.
A database was completed on food security and vulnerability with environmental considerations.
- A reference map of the evolution of vegetation and wildlife habitats identified environments threatened by the invasion of aquatic plants, facilitated the cataloguing of wildlife and determined the provisions of the management plan.
- Various studies were conducted and inputs provided for a new tax system for the SEF. These included a study on the definition of terms of payment of the SEF (forest tax) and a study on the proposal for an environmental tax system applicable to forest ecosystem services in Senegal.
- Regulatory texts were developed, which resulted in the formulation of the documentation for the Ferlo Reserve and its nomination as a Biosphere Reserve.
- Training and capacity building sessions were held for stakeholders operating on the ground, particularly in the areas of Waters and Forestry.
- Information and awareness-raising sessions were also carried out at all stages of the implementation of the project. Local populations and communities benefited from the support of regional water and forest authorities, which were the focal points of the project at local level. Study tours provided opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and experiences about the activities of the Forest Ecosystem Services.
- The Saloum Delta was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011.