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The project site selected for Senegal is Palmarin Facao. This site is located in the ‘Biodiversity Conservation Area of the Saloum Delta’ (RBDS) which was also classified ‘Réserve de Biosphère’ in 1981 and « zone humide d’importance internationale » since 1984 according to Ramsar Convention criteria: 16 different bird species can be found for example.
Moreover, since 1996, a new law on decentralisation was passed in Senegal leading to the establishment of ‘Local Authorities’, with a devolution of powers to Regions, Cities and Rural Communities in some fields. This new legislation allows creating ‘Community Natural Conservation Sites’; the Rural Council therefore created the ‘Réserve Naturelle Communautaire de Palmarin’ which was officially launched in 2002. It covers an area of 10’430 ha, corresponding more or less to the territory of the ‘Palmarin Rural Community’, and also includes a portion of the maritime area.
Coastal erosion is already ongoing in this fragile ecosystem which is currently exposed to higher risks due to sea-level rise and weather extreme events induced by climate change while highly significant in terms of globally important biodiversity. The critical position of this site of major environmental significance is therefore rendering its political and administrative management highly complex to handle. This situation explains some of the delays and blockages that the project component is faced with. The decision was made to restore the mangrove in humid zones and to plant filaos in selected areas to ensure a better coastal protection on the shoreline. Mangrove afforestation was successful, with an impressive rate in some location.