A national workshop for concertation on the BIOPALT project took place in Yaounde, January 15-16, 2018.
Municipal authorities, civil society activists, researchers, local leaders, government representatives, amongst others, on the Cameroonian side of Lake Chad, have discussed on the future of the basin’s systems. They participated in the first national workshop for concertation on the BIOPALT project, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Multisectoral Regional Office for Central Africa.
The workshop was held in Yaounde, January 15-16, 2018. BIOPALT, we learned, is the codename for the project: Applying the model of transboundary biosphere reserves and World Heritage sites to promote peace in the Lake Chad basin through the sustainable management of natural resources.
The project is a component of the Programme to Rehabilitate and Strengthen the Resilience of Lake Chad Basin Systems (PRESIBALT), financed by the African Development Bank.
The project involving Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Niger and Nigeria will cost some FCFA 54 billion. According to Noeline Raondry Rakotoarisoa, Chief of Section of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme, the project seeks to beef up the capacities of Lake Chad Basin Commission member states to safeguard and sustainably manage the hydrological, biological and cultural resources of the Lake Chad basin across their borders in order to support poverty reduction and promote peace.
Going by organisers of the workshop, the projects will include updating knowledge, building institutional, technical and economic capacities and restoring ecosystems.
It will also focus on developing agricultural value chain around the basin where over 15.3 million people will be impacted. Similar national workshops are expected to take place in Bangui, Ndjamena, Niamey and Abuja, before a regional workshop will hold in February 2018 to officially launch the BIOPALT project.