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This 3rd phase of the Casamance Ecoparc project is a continuity of our efforts during the last 7 years together with Augustin and his association APES and in partnership with Eiffage Senegal and the German Embassy in Dakar to preserve the 32 hectares Ecoparc endemic littoral forest in the south of Senegal, next to his village of Diembereng in Casamance, see our funded ecoprojects Casamance Ecoparc >>>
Following the request of an increasing number of Anglophone visitors we would like to add an English version to the 32 French information panels about the forest’s fauna and flora situated alongside the two ecological trails.
By becoming the first privately managed protected community forest reserve in Senegal, Ecoparc is a proof of what passionate people can accomplish together.
One year after its official opening, we are back in the Ecoparc accompanied by our 3 young children. It is an immense pleasure to escape from the dusty and busy streets of the capital city Dakar into this green lung of Casamance and to see our kids listening attentively to the explanations of forest guide Michel about the life inside the huge termite mound or about the sausage tree and the medicinal virtues of its fruits.
Thanks to the engagement of the Ecoparc team all information panels alongside the two eco trails are well-maintained despite the rain seasons and the dust and salt winds from the nearby ocean. According to the forest guide Michel, since its official opening Ecoparc has registered a steady number of visitors and researchers coming to explore this “green lung”:
“There are school groups from our Casamance region but also from the distant capital city Dakar. The city kids love to explore the vast forest, so different from their daily living environment. Thanks to the 32 panels placed along the two nature trails they discover and learn about the importance of the natural treasures of the forest and the need for their protection. They are very curious and quite surprised when they read about the medicinal uses and virtues of some trees and plants; they feel like in an open air pharmacy.”
The tourism into the Casamance region revives slowly thanks to the recent termination of travel restrictions imposed by European embassies. Thus, Ecoparc registers also more and more foreign tourists.
“Thanks to nearby boarder with Gambia, more and more Anglophone tourists come to visit the Ecoparc. Recently a Polish tour operator included a visit to Ecoparc into his circuit from Gambia. Because the tourists coming from Gambia usually do not speak French, we would like to place also an English version of the 32 French information panels alongside the two eco-trails and so spread even further the information about the importance of protecting our forest” says Augustin.
How will your donation help the project?
The Ecofund Community is solicited to
help financing the costs of printing aluminium plaques of the English
version of the 32 information panels.
Furthermore, because the
Ecoparc is situated far from the neighbouring villages and hotels,
Augustin would like to acquire two bikes for his Ecoparc team to
facilitate the provision of the Ecolodge and the contact with tourists
wishing to visit Ecoparc.
APES, Ecofund and its Community will
contribute in kind to the project by installing the panels and by translating the content of the
information panels into English: Thanks to our contributors Anne-Mai for translation, and Karima, Jan and Camilla for grammar and spelling check!
the past, your support thanks to the community based and participatory
approach of Ecofund is an important pillar in protecting 32 hectares of
this beautiful endemic littoral forest in the south of Senegal, next to Augustin's village of Diembereng in Casamance!
Haïder El Ali is one of the most prominent ecological figures in West Africa. Driven by his firm conviction and willingness, he devotes every day to preserve the ecosystem of his country. He leads the Oceanium Association in Senegal, and travels to every corner of West Africa in order to convince everyone through discussion, organizing or action to preserve the sea and its resources, as well as the rivers and the forests.