CONCERTED MANAGEMENT OF PASTORAL RESOURCES IN DAYANE: THE PASTORAL UNIT, AN INNOVATIVE EXPERIENCE OF LOCAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE SENEGALESE FERLO

Lamine Dieng, Amadou Hamath Dia

Abstract


In Senegal, many practices of local development are led by local communities. This article illustrates the case of the economic interest group (Groupement d’intérêt économique (GIE))  «Entente des Groupements Associés pour le développement à la Base» through a decentralised cooperation partnership between the Region of Matam in the northeast of Senegal and Rhône-Alpes (France). In this context, and thanks also to the participation of the NGO Agronomes Vétérinaires Sans Frontière (AVSF), the Pastoral Unit (PU) of Dayane was established in December 2009. A Pastoral Unit is a grouping of breeders and farmers who reside in the villages that exploit the same fields, who have a common investment and who are united by solidarity rsulting from being neighbours and sharing the same natural resources.

The PU of Dayane covers 60 hectares, includes 13 villages and several hamlets (hameaux) with the aim of improving the living conditions of the breeders and farmers of the area. In fact, illegal tree cutting, fires and conflicts between breeders and farmers are recurrent problems for the population. A further objective of the PU is to effectively fight against the accrued degradation of the pastoral and cultivable lands and the forest resources.

The PU attempts to provide solutions to the problems that plague the life of the population of Dayane by clearly defining zones for pasture, cultivation and passage of nomadic herders. Improved spatial management, definition of clear rules and the delimitation of areas reserved for different types of actors who use the resources of the territory of the PU have helped to reduce recurrent conflicts among farmers and breeders, and also between nomadic and indigenous populations. Noteworthy is the fact this particular experience derives from a process of concertation amongst all the local actors concerned, who participate actively and assume responsibility, so that the PU has embraced a variety of new initiative proposed by the actors who form part, as well as in neighbouring territories interested in adopting this practice.

In this way, the PU not only resolves the problems of the population in the territory it covers but also encourages a sentiment of social solidarity and inter-communal cooperation.

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