New “Blue Planning in Practice” training workshop organized in Senegal
The workshop lays the foundation for the implementation of marine spatial planning in the country.
From December 14 to 18 2020, a training workshop on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) was held in Saly, Senegal. It was organized jointly by the Directorate of Environment and Classified Institutions (DEEC) and the Blue Solutions initiative in collaboration with the Abidjan Convention and the Centre for Ecological Monitoring (CSE) of Dakar. Following an earlier training held in Sao Tome and Principe in February 2020, this new workshop aimed at raising the awareness of decision-makers (concerned ministries and parliamentarians) on the need and importance of MSP for the sustainable governance of marine and coastal areas, and for strengthening the capacities of the technical institutions involved in the management of these areas.
As Mr. Baba Dramé, Director of the DEEC, stated, “The objective is to provide the experts in charge of MSP with new tools, as part of an integrated approach that will enable them to work together to plan our maritime and coastal space in a concerted manner”. Specifically, the training thus enabled participants to understand the relevance of the management and sustainable development of coastal and marine areas; to facilitate the development of their MSP system; to take into account the cross-border dimension of marine resource management; to conduct a process of identification and resolution of conflicts between the multiple maritime uses; and to plan an integrated coastal socio-economic development.
The workshop was organized according to the methodological approach of the “Blue Planning in Practice” training course, developed by Blue Solutions. Based on the Harvard Business School Case Method, the Blue Planning in Practice training focuses on the transmission of teaching messages through the interactive work of the participants. The planning challenges to be overcome are represented in the fictitious country of “Bakul”. This approach allows participants to immerse themselves in a subject that is similar to a real-life case study, but that is nevertheless far from their usual work context and the possible tensions that the latter could generate, particularly between participants from different institutions.
In terms of content, the training provided an opportunity for participants to address the following aspects of MSP: the identification of needs and design processes; the development of a common vision and objectives; the organization of stakeholder participation; the inventory and analysis of current and future conditions; the drafting and approval of the space management plan; the implementation and enforcement of the latter; and finally, its monitoring, review, and adjustment where necessary.
The training included a field trip to the Somone Community-Based Nature Reserve (RNICS). During the field visit, the participants benefited from a presentation of the different mechanisms specific to the management of the reserve, and were thus able to understand the specificities of this zone. The reserve is managed by local communities, and this was hence an opportunity to highlight the importance of taking into account the community aspect and the synergies and complementarities of actions within a MSP mechanism.
During the workshop, Dieynaba Seck, one of the CSE trainers, said, “The workshop brought together the different services and representatives of the ministries that operate around Senegal’s marine and coastal space. And we believe that they will be able to be the bearers of our message to our authorities. We are convinced that the beginnings of this planning process will be launched soon, with the aim of better managing our oceans”.
Ms. Marie-Rose Dior, of Senegal’s High Authority for Safety and Security at Sea (HASSMAR), for her part, stressed that “MSP requires institutions and the State to have an organization able to take into account the interests of all users of the sea”.
At the end of the workshop, Mr. Dramé concluded, “The collaborative spirit that prevailed throughout this meeting reinforces us in the idea that only a participatory and concerted approach is a guarantee of success for sustainable development initiatives for our marine and coastal zone”. Other MSP training and activities will be taking place in Senegal and neighboring West African countries during 2021.
Louis PILLE-SCHNEIDER & Alison AMOUSSOU
Images: Alison Amoussou (Abidjan Convention Secretariat)