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Landscape of the Year 2018-2019 Senegal/Gambia News (11)


Landscape of the year Senegal/The Gambia  - Moving ahead at full speed
After the amazing opening event with 800 participants from 11 countries, motivation and expectations in the region are high. Therefore, it’s important to continue with the next steps in order to contribute to a sustainable development of the region. Tree plantings in selected villages – initiated by African and European Naturefriends together with local people – will stay at the focus of the activities.

  2,000 fruit trees have been planted and must be taken care of. The project team of Naturefriends Senegal visited the villages before the plantings, and informed the locals about the project and necessary tree care. So far, local people participated with great commitment. By mid of April, three months have passed since the plantings took place, and the project team has visited the villages once more to look at the trees. Mamadou Mbodji was part of the team: „It was good to see, that local people take care of the trees. Where ever it was necessary, we built protection devices to keep away hungry grazing animals from the trees. And again we had intense conversation with the population: What do the trees need, when can the first fruits be harvested, how can we process and sell the fruit?” Especially the women from the villages, who traditionally are responsible for gardening, were very interested and look forward to harvesting the first fruits. For them, selling the fruits will be in important possibility to contribute to the family income.

In November, a group of German Naturefriends will visit the villages. For local people, the interest and appreciation of European Naturefriends is very valuable – and another motivating factor for taking good care of the trees.

In addition, a seminar for regional tourism stakeholders will be organized within the next months. The focus of the seminar will be on making use of the high potential of sustainable tourism for the development of the region: What is important, to make the region more attractive for tourists? How can travelers be motivated, to spend more time in the region? Which infrastructure do tourists expect – especially those ones coming from Europe? How can we involve local people in the tourism development? How many tourists can we have in our region, without excessing ecological and social limits? And –most important – how can we secure, that local people will profit from tourism? And how can we prevent conflicts, e.g. by exhausting or destroying natural resources or exploiting people working in tourism?

Furthermore, Naturefriends International will initiate a peer-to-peer project for students and young tourism stakeholders from the region and from Europe. In the framework of this project, experiences will be exchanged and specific educational material for sustainable tourism development in the region will be developed together with the participants.


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