Sustainable Food and Agriculture

Supporting sustainable agriculture transitions in Senegal

FAO’s Multidisciplinary Fund is facilitating agroecological transitions and the implementation of Senegal’s Nationally Determined Contributions
15 July 2020

Addressing the threat of climate change and variability 

The agriculture sector in Senegal, which employs 60 percent of the rural population, is under threat: climate change and variability is leading to rising temperatures, variations in the level and frequency of precipitations, increased droughts, salinization of arable land and fresh water. Those most exposed to the consequences of these phenomena are vulnerable rural populations, whose safety and resilience are at risk. 

In order to address the impacts of climate change and variability, Senegal is committed to the formulation of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which it is pursuing through an inclusive multi-stakeholder process focussed on essential elements such as Measurement, Notification and Verification, data gathering, and bolstering the institutional and technical capacity required for NDC implementation. 

What are NDCs?

NDCs are commitments made by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement requires countries to prepare, communicate and update their NDC.

Supporting positive change

Building on two international symposia on agroecology co-organised by FAO in 2015 and 2018, the first held in Dakar and the second in Rome, Senegal has pursued a number of initiatives aimed at promoting the adoption of climate-resilient approaches throughout the country, with the support of FAO and other partners.

These actions include the Multi-stakeholder days for the development of agroecology in West Africa, organized by the multi-stakeholder Task Force for the Promotion of Agroecology in Senegal (TaFAé), the signing of a charter for green cities and towns committing more than 50 local authorities to the promotion of agroecology, as well as regional and national workshops organised alongside partners from civil society organisations and beyond.

Mainstreaming sustainable approaches

In order to expedite and facilitate country-wide promotion and adoption of agroecological approaches aimed at enhancing resilience against climate change and related impacts, a national platform for the development of agroecology was established: Dynamics for an Agroecological Transition in Senegal (DyTAES) engages all key stakeholders through constructive dialogue and knowledge sharing, highlighting of results and impacts of agroecology in terms of combating climate change and building resilience. 

Building knowledge and resilience

MDF-supported agroecology workshops were held throughout six ‘agroecological zones’ identified throughout the country, gathering farming communities, local and national authorities, NGOs, producer organisations, academia, and other stakeholders.

The workshops included field visits to assess the level of application of agroecological principles, and brought together local communities through assemblies aimed at providing participatory diagnoses and quantitative survey operations to formulate recommendations and a roadmap for the agroecological transition in the area. 

Empowering communities

A multi-stakeholder consultation was organized to create a framework for interaction and synergies between the different categories of stakeholders, which led to the production of a document contributing to national policies on agroecology in Senegal: Contribution aux politiques nationales pour une transition agroécologique au Sénégal. The process took into account regional specificities, but also the experiences, concerns and contributions of each category of actors.

Following the consultation, participants started sharing experiences, and set up a multi-actor, multi-level citizen dialogue framework to address the requirements of all those involved in the transition to agroecology.

Driving progress

As per other MDF initiatives, the work carried out in Senegal combined expertise from FAO and its country partners to empower institutions and communities.

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