Mauritania - Developping a National Coastal Zone Adaptation Strategy addressing climate change risks and vulnerabilities on the coast and wilayas of the Senegal river bassin


Mauritanian population has experienced deep changes marked by (i) population doubling in less than 25 years, (ii) massive sedentarisation of transhumant populations (representing 65% in 1965 and only 5% nowadays), (iii) rapid urbanisation (from 7% in 1965 to more than 60% today) located in coastal zones with a proportional relative decrease in rural population. Population is now gathered mainly in Nouakchott (25%) and along wilayas of the Senegal river bassin. Agriculture and livestock remain the main sources of income for more than half of the population. The numerous effects of climate change, desertification, soil degradation and consequences on natural and water resources, agriculture and livestock clearly illustrate correlation between poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation. The extreme vulnerability of Mauritania is confirmed by the Environmental Performance Indicator (EPI) which ranks Mauritania 161th over 163 countries. 

Following the commitment made by Mauritania in Rio and Johannesburg, a National Sustainable Development Strategy (SNDD) and a National Action PLan for Environment and Sustainable Developmant (PANE) were elaborated in 2006. However, the National Adaptation Programme of Action (PANA), focusing on agriculture, livestock, fisheries, urbanisation, tourism, energy and water, does not sufficiently address adaptation risks and measures specific in the coastal area and along the Senegal river bassin region.


It is to alleviate this lack that the NGO AFE requested assistance from the CSF through the ACP Secretariat in order to appoint two experts for the development of a specific coastal adaptation strategy and projects action plan involving significantly the civil society and all relevant stakeholders. 


After two field missions and workshops carried out in december 2015 and January 2016, a long and difficult reporting period followed which produced a draft strategy and action plan which are available in the right column of this page.