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US Agency for International Development (USAID) / Senegal has funded the AG/NRM program (locally known as "Wula Nafaa") through 2008 to achieve an ambitious set of results related to the improved and decentralized management of forests in Eastern Senegal. These results include preparation of management plans for dozens of forests in three regions covering some 350,000 hectares, and the adoption of formal agreements between the Forest Service and local community based organizations to implement these plans and to increase the level of income from the sale of forest products and other benefits accruing to local communities. USAID asked the US Forest Service to provide technical assistance with the elaboration and implementation of forest co-management agreements, including inventory techniques and management plan development.
Communities living around protected forests in Senegal now have the legal authority to be directly involved in managing these resources, to both meet their forest product needs and help the Senegalese Forest Service meet its objectives of expanding forest cover. Via the decentralization law and the existing forestry code, communities can co-manage existing National Forests (also known as Classified Forests) with the regional forest service and communities can directly manage their village forests. Management authority is granted through a management plan that is agreed to by all parties. The management plans are based on a number of key components, including establishing a desired future condition for the resource, determining management objectives, performing inventories, and developing zones for the various intended uses.
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Training on Community Forestry Management Planning
In September 2004, via an innovative partnership, the US Forest Service International Programs Office provided training on community forest planning and simplified forest inventory techniques to forest management actors in the Wula Nafaa project. The principal actors targeted during this mission were the personnel of the USAID-funded Wula Nafaa project, the staff of the Inspection Regionale des Eaux et Forets, and the representatives of village associations involved in forest management in the Tambacounda and Kolda regions. The US Forest Service team helped the Wula Nafaa team and their partners develop a consolidated approach to forest management planning, and provided a short training course to introduce the Wula Nafaa program partners to these approached for simplified inventories and participatory management planning.
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Wildlife Management (Zone d’Interet Cynegetique or ZIC of Faleme)
The ZIC of Faleme is a natural wildlife area covering over a million hectares in southeastern Senegal acting as a buffer zone to the Niokolo Koba National Park. The photo-mosaic of the area composed by the US Geological Survey in 2004 for Wula Nafaa shows that the area is still more or less intact. However, there is evidence of deforestation resulting from the recent expansion of agriculture. Although verbal reports suggest that the wildlife of the ZIC is still rich, a proper inventory had not been carried out nor had a management plan been developed. Before any of the stakeholders invest in a management plan, there must be a long-term vision and strategy on the sustainability of the zone and an assurance that the partners are prepared to implement such a plan. In this context, the US Forest Service worked with in-country Senegalese partners to assess the current management structure of the ZIC, its impact on local communities and wildlife populations, and proposed alternatives that would improve wildlife conservation, local resource management and the wealth of communities living in the ZIC. This informed the development of a simplified, adaptive management plan for ZIC.
Please see USFS trip reports on FRAME: http://www.frameweb.org/ev_en.php?ID=7709_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC
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