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Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCA)

Relying on its method of participatory management, Oceanium is currently working towards the creation of two more protected areas in the Senegalese Casamance region. Facing a sharp decrease of marine resources and the arrival of thousands of migrating fishermen, especially in Elinkine, Petit Pointe and Kafountine, the villages have organised themselves to protect their resources and, in doing so, have worked to ensure food security.

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Map of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) around the river Casamance. (Source: Presidential Decree on Marine Protected Areas 2013)

The first area is situated on the islands of in the river Casamance. It is related to Hitou, Bakasouk, Haer, and Niomoune, four villages that are members of the rural community of Kafountine. The protected surface is around 20,000 hectares. The second one relates to the site of Pointe Saint-Georges, where the one of the last families of manatees (sea cow) in West Africa comes to soak every day. Initially planned for the Pointe site only, the protected area has been extended to the whole rural community of Mlomp, following requests of the villages. The protected area now covers 15,000 hectares.

Combine environmental protection and eco-tourism

Our objectives are, together with community residents, to eventually put in place two ICCA in order to :

  • protect the last manatees (sea cows) families in West Africa;
  • assure sustainable prawn fishing and to create reproduction zone especially for this species;
  • protect adolescent fish, which come to that zone to mature, allowing for the regeneration of marine resources.

At the same time, we develop income-generating but environmentally responsible activities that improve the living standard of the local population. In particular, we achieve this through :

  • establishing a unit for fresh oyster processing;
  • establishing community-based agro-forestry areas;
  • rational management of fish and prawns;
  • raising the necessary revenues to run and sustain the Marine Protected Area (MPA) through a tourist cottage.

Ensemble, protégeons notre planète !