SAVi for the conservation of the Saloum Delta in Senegal

IISD worked with Wetlands International to analyze the impact (economic, social, and environmental) and financial viability of different interventions in and around the Saloum Delta. The Saloum Delta is one of Senegal’s most important wetlands and has been designed as a UNESCO protected site. It is also a valuable economic resource for local communities. The SAVi assessment covers interventions in the agriculture, fisheries, energy, and infrastructure sectors.

IISD developed a SAVi model to assess the economic contribution of the Saloum Delta to local livelihoods and regional development. The assessment finds that mangrove restoration, organic agriculture, and the use of solar cookstoves provide significant environmental, social, and economic benefits for the communities in the Saloum Delta. For example, mangrove restoration protects against coastal erosion and also provides tourism benefits for the region.  Oil extraction, on the other hand, impedes the ecosystem of the delta from providing these benefits. Our SAVi report, published in June 2020, provides for an integrated assessment of the value of the ecosystem services of the Saloum Delta. The report, along with a related brochure, is available in English and French.

The results of the SAVi analysis provide a starting point for innovative ideas to finance further conservation projects in the Saloum Delta. For example, solar cookstoves and mangrove restoration projects could make use of carbon credits to attract the necessary financing. The SAVi analysis provides the fundamentals for the due diligence of verified carbon standard schemes. Our findings also point to the challenges that will emerge if conservation and restoration efforts are not undertaken in the Saloum Delta, as its degradation will have a significant adverse impact on the ecosystem services that it can provide.

The table below shows the results of the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of possible interventions over the years 2020-2060. Please note that “ES” stands for “ecosystem services” and “CFA” refers to West African franc, the currency used in Senegal. A full report of the SAVi assessment on the Saloum Delta is now available in the IISD library.