ResilienSEA in Senegal
Senegal lies at the westernmost point of Africa, bordered by Gambia, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau in the South, Mali in the East, and Mauritania in the North. The country presents a variety of ecosystems that range from steppes, savannahs, forests, to deltas, estuaries, and large beaches. As a result, Senegal benefits from a rich diversity of living systems with more than 3500 vegetal species and 4330 animal species.
Senegal’s political and economic stability is strongly dependent on the exploitation of natural resources. Agriculture holds an important place in the state’s development, and extractive industries capture most investments. In the last decades, fisheries have dramatically grown in Senegal’s economy. The value of products from fishing has increased as a result of important investments in the industry. As a result, coastal areas have developed and urbanized with the settlement of fishing industries, shipping ports and workers, thus highlighting how crucial healthy marine and coastal ecosystems are for Senegal’s coastal communities and urban populations. The conservation of seagrass meadows can play a significant role in preserving Senegal’s rich biodiversity and its coasts.
Senegal has committed to enhance biological diversity (Convention on Biological Diversity) and to regulate fisheries. At the national level, the Littoral Law aims at balancing exploitation, coastal management and environment. At the local level, the country has created sixteen Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and four Marine Managed Areas (MMAs). Thus, there are legal frameworks which could support efficient seagrass conservation.