Supporting associations

Restore and enhance mangrove areas in Senegal

Contributing to sustainable and integrated management of the mangrove forests of Saint-Louis and of its biodiversity in tandem with local populations

Restore and enhance mangrove areas in Senegal

Project leader
logo Le Partenariat

Duration of the partnership


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The project and its challenges

In less than 50 years, nearly 25% of mangrove areas in Senegal have been destroyed

Mangrove forests serve ecosystems in many ways and play an important role in combating the challenges of climate change. They store significant amounts of carbon and serve as protective barriers against spring tides, storms and soil erosion. Moreover, the wide variety of both animal and plant species they support guarantees the food security of local communities. However, these ecosystems are subject to numerous threats, such as over-exploitation of fishery resources, excessive cutting of mangrove areas, urbanisation, severe droughts, low rainfall and rising sea levels.

In Senegal, about 45,000 hectares of mangrove forests have disappeared since the 1970s and forecasts indicate that about 70% of their total area will disappear if no action is taken. The protection of these ecosystems is a priority, particularly in the north of the country, where climatic and anthropogenic pressures on the Saint-Louis mangrove area threaten the local economy and the food security of rural coastal communities.


Protecting the Saint-Louis mangrove areas, the northernmost mangroves in West Africa

Since 2012, Le Partenariat has been supporting actors in the Senegal River delta in forming adaptation strategies (solutions to rising waters and weather disturbances) and mitigating the effects of climate change (reduced deforestation, alternatives to fossil fuels, sustainable economic activities). Beyond preserving and restoring mangrove ecosystems, the goal is to offer sustainable income-generating activities to local populations and strengthen regions’ resilience. The long-term objective is to encourage communities to get involved in responsibly managing their natural resources.


The MDM Foundation supports Le Partenariat in its efforts to preserve and sustainably manage mangrove forests. The funds provided will help to:

  • Plant 100,000 trees in the area of the Senegal River delta;
  • Conduct advocacy actions with local and national authorities regarding environmental issues and the importance of sensitive ecosystems;
  • Implement environmental education activities in schools and communities;
  • Support community groups (mainly women) in the diversification of their sustainable economic activities, including the sustainable production transformation (beekeeping, oyster farming, aquaculture);
  • Support community groups in promoting energy alternatives to fuelwood from mangrove areas (improved cookstoves and bio-coal);
  • Replicate the experience in Saint-Louis and related micro-projects in other regions of West Africa (cross-border capitalising).


The project directly involves 3,000 inhabitants of the Department of Saint-Louis and the local authorities (technicians and elected officials). Women living near mangrove areas will be the primary beneficiaries as a result of their community mobilisation in alternative economic development actions.

The project will also benefit the 150,000 inhabitants of the towns and villages where the project takes place (Saint-Louis, Gandon and Ndiébène Gandiol).

The pros of the project

The gradual and alarming degradation of mangrove areas in the Senegal River delta requires the mobilisation of local and regional authorities. As a result, the rationale for action provided by Le Partenariat proposes that local actors be involved and supported, but not replaced, in the preservation and development of those fragile ecosystems. Solutions that promote both resilience and sustainable socio-economic development of regions must be found and then capitalised on and shared with the partners of the collective of the 5 Deltas.

“The project aims to contribute to the sustainable and integrated management of West African mangrove forests and of their biodiversity by local populations. Join the communities and women’s groups of the Senegal River delta (Saint-Louis) in preserving mangrove forests and their remarkable yet fragile biodiversity”

M. Papa Mamadou Cisse Sustainable Development Manager, Senegal branch
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Project leader Le Partenariat

Created in 1981, Le Partenariat's mission is to strengthen the capacity of local actors to support the local, sustainable and solidarity-based economic development of regions and improve the living conditions of local populations. Its scope of action historically covers the regions of Saint-Louis and Matam in Senegal and was expanded to the region of Marrakesh-Safi in Morocco in 2007 and the region of Labé in Guinea in 2015.

Le Partenariat carries out its cooperation actions based on four cross-functional areas of involvement:

  • Support for the decentralisation process;
  • Access to basic social services;
  • Sustainable development and environmental issues;
  • Training and professional integration.

It also raises awareness among citizens in the north (Hauts-de-France) and the south of France of the challenges of sustainable development, citizenship and international solidarity.