Seaweed for climate change resilient blue economies, biodiversity and ecosystem services “CLIMALG-SN”

Country/Region
Senegal/West Africa
 

Project duration May 2020 to April 2022 

project summary

CLMALG-SN aims at seaweed habitats and their potential to foster blue growth and to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services in Senegal and neighbouring countries. The project will provide a road map to policy makers to encourage both exploitation (cultivation and harvest) of seaweed and preservation of natural seaweeds habitats as a tool for fisheries management and as refuge and habitat for exploited fish. Seaweed aquaculture cannot only be a profitable and sustainable source of income, but also a tool for carbon fixation and for nutrient recovery from over-fertilized coastal waters. Natural and sustainably harvested and cultivated seaweed habitats can stabilize, conserve and restore marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. CLIMALG-SN will update the current seaweed inventory in Senegal, and assess their influence on biodiversity, interactions with ecological and biogeochemical cycles and bottlenecks for their recent exploitation. Existing knowledge will be gathered, socio-economic interviews and taxonomic identification will be conducted, and use of genomics and metagenomics as novel methodologies, relevant for the identification of seaweeds and the associated species biodiversity, will be introduced. All knowledge will be developed and shared in meetings and workshops with relevant stakeholders, which include institutions and organisations with an emphasis on policy and decision-making, including both maritime economy and environmental directorates, potential stakeholders of seaweed production, small-scale fishermen, women associations, as well as local and sub-regional fishing commissions, academic partners, and non-governmental organisations. Overall, the planned activities in CLIMALG-SN directly target United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) through the increase of scientific knowledge and research capacity for the sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems and support further Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 1, 2, & 8). In all stages of the project, we will place a particular emphasis on capacity building of Senegalese direct and indirect partners, at technical, academic and institutional levels.

 

Updating the current inventory of seaweeds in Senegal, assessing their influence on coastal marine biodiversity and identifying bottlenecks for their recent exploitation


Assessing the potential of seaweed habitats to foster blue growth and to provide ecosystem services in Senegal and the sub-region


Providing a road map to policy makers toward sustainable exploitation (harvesting and cultivation) of seaweed and preservation of natural seaweeds habitats as a nursery ground for exploited fish


Introducing and supporting the use of seaweed barcoding and metabarcoding techniques as modern tools for biodiversity assessments in Senegalese coastal habitats


Developing and sharing knowledge in meetings and workshops with stakeholders, including policy and decision-makers, potential seaweed producers (e.g., small-scale fishermen, women associations), academic partners (e.g., Senegalese universities), relevant non-governmental organisations and the sub-regional fisheries commission (SRFC)


Building seaweed-related capacities of Senegalese direct and indirect partners, at technical, academic and institutional levels. 

areas of work

Knowledge base & information needs assessment

  • Develop an overview of the most relevant data providers, repositories, data sources.
  • Assess stakeholders’ information needs and requirements
  • Evaluate the current status of coastal biodiversity data handling in a baseline report.

Awareness raising

  • Jointly develop recommendations for activities to enhance data sharing in the region.
  • Inform on open and FAIR data principles.
  • Provide material and information to support data exchange on the website.

Exchange of experiences

  • Initiate and manage a working group linking relevant actors with the aim of identifying best practices in working with marine biodiversity data for policy- making and management.
  • Jointly develop concrete ideas to implement new digital technologies, and exchanging and integrating data.

Capacity building

  • Design training material tailored to the handling of biodiversity data and disseminate in a pilot training course.
  • Share factsheets and a toolbox on the website, in newsletters and through social media channels.

New digital tools

  • Compile best practice examples of using new digital tools for data handling and sharing them via factsheets.
  • Develop a toolbox describing available new digital tools and how they can be adapted for marine biodiversity data.

Policy advice

  • Develop policy briefs on the handling of marine biodiversity data geared towards the regional perspective.
  • Develop a report with recommendations and a draft action plan for a long-lasting strategy for improved biodiversity data handling and sharing.
  • Disseminate activities and results on the website and through social media.

Partners

Institut Sénégalais de Recherche Agricole (ISRA)

Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD)

GEOMAR