Mundus maris honored moderating a round table of researchers, farmers and fishermen

On April 11 and 12, the first International Conference on Innovation and Interdisciplinary Solutions for Disadvantaged Areas was held at the Pullman Hotel in Dakar (see agenda attached). The meeting was attended by actors from very different cultural contexts and professional backgrounds.

This diversity was the basis for the richness and originality of this uncommon event.

Given our experience in maintaining a dialogue between scientists and communities, we were invited to host a roundtable, the configuration of which makes it a very original initiative.

Our involvement consisted first of all in ensuring the participation of fisher leaders from Mbour, Soumbédioune and Yoff. Two peasant leaders, identified by the University of Bambey also took part in this event.

Apart from the mobilisation of the fishers, the vice president of Mundus maris was invited as speaker for this round table that he also had to moderate.

This was the opportunity to present the "Artisanal Fisheries Academy" project and the pedagogical kit that we have produced in collaboration with teachers and FAO experts in the framework of the FAO - Nansen pilot activities.

Several perspectives for collaboration between the academic world and the rural world have been discussed, particularly the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to meet the information needs expressed by the representatives of the communities.

These have clearly articulated the need for information about markets, the internal dynamics of agricultural and artisanal fisheries systems, climate change, and its impacts on ecosystems and the living conditions of the populations concerned.

Ceux-ci ont clairement articulé les besoins de renseignements relatifs aux marchés, à la dynamique interne des systèmes agricoles et des pêcheries artisanales, au changement climatique, ainsi que à ses impacts sur les écosystèmes et les conditions de vie des populations concernées.

Among the participants of the round table were Mr. Badou Ndoye, President of the National Collective of Artisanal Fishers of Senegal (CNPS), Prof Kébé in grey traditional dress, Mr. Mamadou Mbaye with his scarf, CNPS treasurer and Chairman of the Committee Local of the Artisanal Fisheries (CLPA) in Yoff, and Assane Diop, Vice President of the CNPS and President of the CLPA in Soumbédioune.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the recognition of the shared responsibilities between the scientific community and the rural world as regards the difficulties of establishing a real dialogue that would allow for mutual appreciation and enrichment.

The brief account is by Aliou Sall, photos by Prof. Fadel Kébé.