Situated in the extreme west of the African continent, Senegal shares borders with Mauritania, Mali (to the East) and the republics of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.The country has a 700 km Atlantic seaboard. The 14 administrative regions of Senegal host an unevenly distributed population of 15 million, with a high demographic concentration in the west of the country.
Its primarily export-based economy is the fourth largest in the West African sub-region after Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana, even though Senegal is one of the Least Developed Countries. With few natural resources, its main sources of income are fishing and tourism. Although its share of GDP is dropping sharply, the agricultural sector still provides a livelihood for around 60% of the Senegalese population, particularly women.
Climate variability and the crisis in the groundnut sector, the main cash crop, have caused a 20% fall in GDP. Climate risk is one of the prime factors exacerbating the vulnerability of Senegalese communities.
GERSE in Senegal
GERES became involved in Senegal in 2012 through the implementation of the ClimTERR “Climate and Territory” project in the Ferlo eco-geographical (sylvo-pastoral) zone in the north of the country.
This project is designed to help the five regions in the Ferlo bring the climate risk dimension into their development policies and planning.
It is part of the approach instigated by the Rhône-Alpes Region, UNDP and Senegalese government, working alongside the Inter-Regional Alliance, to ensure concerted management of the sylvo-pastoral zone.
The territorial approach reflects GERES concern to assist development in the medium-term on the basis of sound knowledge of local realities. Its purpose is to promote adaptation to climate change with a view to boosting the resilience of both territories and resident communities.