Dakar, Senegal - The first Regional Exchange Workshop for Western and Central Africa in the framework of the WOW Project was held from 17 - 19 February 2009 at the Headquarters of Saloum National Park in Senegal.
The workshop brought together 20 wetland managers, waterbird conservation experts, researchers and government officials from Senegal, The Gambia, Niger, Mauritania, Mali and Guinea-Bissau. Participants pledged a more engaged partnership approach to tackling common wetland and waterbird issues and used the workshop to share experiences of the different national park authorities present.
Participants also used the workshop to discuss regional approaches to the conservation of key sites for migratory waterbirds in the region. Also present at the exchange workshop were representatives from the Eurosite network, representing more than 96 organisations and spanning 26 European countries. With the aim of establishing and nurturing a network of site managers in Western and Central Africa, participants from Eurosite shared experiences on how networks can be made more effective in the context of conservation.
The regional exchange workshop also provided a forum for WOW Demonstration Site project managers representing Banc D’Arguin National Park (Mauritania), the Saloum-Niumi Complex (Senegal & The Gambia), and Namga-Kokorou Complex (Niger) to highlight experiences and achievements to other national parks within the region, including Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal), Diawling National Park (Mauritania) and Orango National Park (Guinea Bissau).
“This was a very timely exchange and we are very pleased with the outcomes and potential for future regional cooperation on wetland and migratory waterbird conservation”, said Abdoulaye Ndiaye, the Africa Capacity Development Manager at Wetlands International Africa, emphasizing that regional and multilateral cooperation was crucial to the conservation of both migratory waterbirds and their habitats.
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