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Global Ideas

Senegalese farmers get back to basics in the face of climate change

Drought and flooding might read like opposite extremes, but climate change is inflicting them both on parts of Senegal. Cultivating healthy ecosystems is one way local farmers are seeking to minimize damage.

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Project goal: The aim is to promote an understanding of the importance of ecosystems and to underscore the important role they play in fighting natural disasters such as droughts and floods.
Implementation: The project "Ecosystems protecting infrastructure and communities" (EPIC) is run by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in six countries. Six villages in Senegal's Sine Saloum Delta are participating in the project, which will run until 2017.
Project size: The project is funded to the tune of 4 million euros by the International Climate Initative (IKI).
Biodiversity: The villages are based on the fringes of the Saloum Delta National Park, which is known for its mangroves, as well as its rich bird and animal biodiversity.

An imbalance in the ecosystem where they live is making life tough for farmers in the Djilor community in the Sine Saloum Delta in western Senegal. In order to improve their situation, they are working on a project that aims to improve the quality of their agricultural land, and flag up the correlation between profit and a healthy ecosystem. The community is located on the edge of the richly biodiverse Delta du Saloum National Park, which is experiencing both drought and flooding as a result of climate change. Simultaneously the deforstation of mangroves along the Atlantic coast is leading to salinization of agricultural land. The aim is now to reverse the process using traditional means, and to use fewer resources in order to promote ecosystem stability. There are also efforts in place to resolve the conflicts emerging between locals who rely on the resources to survive.

A film by Mabel Gundlach

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