Dakar international workshop

With the  financial support of the Turkish International Cooperation Agency (TIKA), FAO joined forces with the  Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Senegal and its technical Institutions (Directorate of Forests, Water, Hunting and of Soil Conservation of Senegal and the National Agency of the Great Green Wall of Senegal),  the Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, and the African Union Commission for organizing an international workshop “Guidelines for building resilient forest landscapes in drylands”, a second of its kind,  in Dakar, Senegal from the 25-28 February 2013.

This event is a follow-up to the recommendations and actions identified during the first international workshop, organized in Konya, Turkey, on 28-31 May 2012.


  • Contribute to the formulation of the “guidelines for building resilient forest landscapes in drylands” based on the expertise and experience of participating experts;
  • Identification of gaps and challenges that need to be addressed and appropriate actions for building resilient forest landscapes in Great Green Wall countries.

Participants included over 80 international experts on drylands restoration from forestry departments, research institutions, the private sector, NGOs and international development agencies, representing 13 countries, mainly from Africa (the Great Green Wall countries) and Europe.

The workshop involved 2 full days on the field. Participants had the opportunity to review the drafted guidelines and provided their inputs and contributed with recommendations for their finalization. They have also learned from the past and ongoing forest restoration efforts in Senegal and Turkey as well as from the experience of Burkina Faso in the provision of high quality seeds for building resilient forest landscapes in drylands.

Participants appreciated the opportunity to establish and extend their professional networks through this event and to visit and analyze restoration activities implemented on the ground by the Great Green National Agency and the Directorate of Water, Forests, Hunting, and Soil conservation.

The field visit and working discussions of the three groups included the assessment of two of the restored sites of Widou Thiengoly; the natural regeneration initiative promoted in Koyli/ Alpha by the local communities of Mboula;  a local farmer orchard (jardins polyvalents) managed by a local organization of 240 women in Widou; the soil and conservation operations in the watershed basin of Thiès; the National programme of forest seeds (PRONASEF), a local community tree nursery in Widou and the regional tree Nursery of Dakar. The analysis was undertaken according to the drafted guidelines. During the last day, a tour de table enabled countries’ representatives to report on key issues and challenges they face in their countries for building resilient forest landscapes. At the end joint actions for addressing the issues and challenges were identified and a road map was defined for follow-up.


Participants reported on successful actions recorded during their field visits and recommended actions for improving certain aspects. Participants provided useful recommendations for the finalization of the guidelines. They have also defined follow-up actions and a road map for the finalization of the guidelines and their effective implementation in the Great Green Wall countries. A steering committee was set up to follow-up the implementation of the recommendations and identified actions. The committee is chaired by Senegal and co-chaired by Burkina Faso and involve one representative per country, a representative of FAO and  a representative of TIKA.  A bilateral collaboration agreement was signed between Senegal and Turkey in support to forest restoration and combating desertification.

The following concrete follow-up actions were identified:

  1. FAO to prepare a report of the Dakar workshop and upload it on the website including list of participants, presentations and workshop documents:  www.fao.org/forestry/aridzone/restoration;  
  2. FAO to review the draft version of the guidelines taking into consideration the recommendations and inputs from Dakar workshop participants. The revised version should be circulated to participants for final comments by end of May 2013. It was also highlighted the need of developing resilience assessment tools/ indicators;  
  3. Turkey to organize in collaboration with Senegal and FAO, a side event in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Occasion of the 10th session of the United Nations Forest Forum (UNFF), in April 2013. At this occasion the summary guidelines and outcomes of the two workshops (Konya and Dakar) will be presented;
  4. FAO to finalize the full document of the guidelines and launch it in September 2013, at the occasion of the 11th Session of the UNCCD Conference of Parties; 
  5. FAO and all participants to keep up the excellent networking (regular communications among the group of participants and contributors to the guidelines);
  6. FAO to finalize the development of the capacity development strategy and action plan  in support to the Great Green Wall, in  collaboration with the Walloon Region of Belgium / Association pour la Promotion de l’Education et de la Formation à l’Etranger (APEFE) and the MDG Center for West and Central Africa, taking into consideration restoration capacity development needs and priorities identified during this workshop for the effective implementation of the guidelines on the ground, by July 2013;  
  7. The National Forest Seed Center of Burkina Faso (CNSF) and the Tree Seed Center of the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) were identified as leaders that could provide technical support on development of the seeds’ value chains respectively in GGW countries of West Africa and of East Africa.
  8. For the case of West Africa, a meeting led by the national forest seed center of Burkina Faso (CNSF) and involving participants (GGW focal points and Tree seed centers focal points from Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger; Nigeria and Senegal) decided that a Capacity development programme to support seed centers in West Africa should include: (i)  the setting up of a regional forest seed bank (for short and long-term) for the conservation of seeds in case of disasters; (ii) the setting up of a regional seeds  laboratory; (iii) In-situ and ex-situ conservation. Partners of this capacity development programme will involve FAO, CILSS, CDAO, UEMOA, WBI, Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew, JICA, OSS, CEN-SAD, TIKA and Bioversity international. To develop such a programme. With support of FAO, the countries will undertake the following immediate actions: (i) a detailed assessment of the current status of seeds centers;  (ii) organization of a regional meeting to compile the results of the needs’ assessment and define the capacity development programme objectives and actions;
  9. FAO to follow-up discussions with KEFRI to define next steps for development of support programme to the seeds value chain for Eastern Africa (including Sudan, Ethiopia); 
  10. FAO to work in collaboration with Morocco, Algeria and other North African Countries to develop a programme of support for the development of a seeds value chain in North Africa.  

last updated:  Tuesday, March 11, 2014