Great Green Wall Countries Discuss Resilience Strategies
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The proceedings and main outcomes of the second regional conference and associated technical training workshops for members of the Sahel and West Africa Programme (SAWAP) in Support of the Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI) have been published.

Among other issues, participants discussed experiences from several countries on how to optimize geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing data for improved drought monitoring and best practices for directing funds towards participatory sustainable land and water management activities at the local level.

sawap19 March 2015: The proceedings and main outcomes of the second regional conference and associated technical training workshops for members of the Sahel and West Africa Programme (SAWAP) in Support of the Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI) have been published. Among other issues, participants discussed experiences from several countries on how to optimize geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing data for improved drought monitoring and best practices for directing funds towards participatory sustainable land and water management activities at the local level.

GGWI is a regional programme to improve sustainable land management in the Sahel-Saharan region, focusing on a 15-kilometer wide and 7,100-kilometer long strip of land across the African continent, from Dakar, Senegal to Djibouti.

The event was the second conference organized by the Building Resilience through Innovation, Communication and Knowledge Services (BRICKS) Project, a six-year regional knowledge and monitoring hub. BRICKS provides operational services to the 12 SAWAP country projects (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Togo) to help identify regional and global innovations, promote them through better communication, and put that knowledge into use. The objectives of the conference were to: identify operational challenges of SAWAP projects that BRICKS could address; facilitate knowledge sharing within the SAWAP community; and operationalize the collaboration between SAWAP country projects and BRICKS implementing agencies.

In their final recommendations, participants call for, inter alia: strengthening the communications capacity of SAWAP project teams; harmonizing monitoring indicators and data 
collection tools; improving linkages between national geo-portals and the regional geo-portal 
under construction at the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS); and adapting “best practice formats” to meet the needs of local actors.

The conference was preceded by technical training workshops designed to facilitate exchanges among participants and reinforce capacities for monitoring and evaluation, communication and sustainable land management. The technical workshops were convened by the three SAWAP regional coordinating agencies, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), OSS and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The technical training workshops and 2nd SAWAP Conference took place from 16-19 February 2015 at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. [Conference Outcomes] [2nd SAWAP Conference Website]

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