WHEN CONCERTED MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES STRENGTHENS CIVIC SPIRIT AND CITIZENSHIP: THE EXAMPLE OF AVPE OF NDIAMALATHIÉLÉ

Amadou Hamath Dia, Idrissa Coly

Abstract


This article retraces the experience of the Association Volunteers for the Protection of the Environment (Association des Volontaires pour la Protection de l’Environnement - A.V.P.E)

This article describes the experience of the Association Volunteers for the Protection of the Environment  (AVPE) founded in the Department of Bounkiling in the natural region of Casamance on the border with Gambia by a former emigrant. Upon his return to Senegal he became aware of the degeneration of the environment, especially the forest, and this led him to create the AVPE. The objective of the association is to protect the environment and the forest in particular, by an optimal and rational management of the natural resources, thus improving the living conditions of the population.

 The approach taken was the participatory management of the environment and natural resources, with the aim of creating the conditions for a sustainable local development. To encourage the population to become engaged in the process it was necessary to develop income-producing activities as an alternative way to limit the abusive removal of forest products. In fact, in this zone, abusive tree cutting is an important source of income for much of the population; the sale of wood across the border with Gambia is a means of subsistence for much of the population.

The operating modality promotes civic and citizen values through information campaigns, education and sensitization and appears to be the principle at the heart of this practice. The population is involved both as beneficiaries of the sensitization and also as the main actor in the prevention of abusive wood-cutting. The process is noteworthy not only because of its environmental impact but also because of the advances made in terms of civic responsibility and in creating a sentiment of belonging to the Country, which is still a complex issue in this border area of Senegal.

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