Side event details

Selected key results of the RESSOURCE project: (1) Promoting waterlily cultivation in the Senegal delta; (2) supporting the designation of the 4th Sudanese Ramsar site and (3) developing a MOOC on African waterbirds and wetlands
Day and time
09.11.2022 19:45
Lead organization
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
Partner organization(s)
Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources (Sudan) Tour du Valat (Unité de Soutien Technique à l'initiative africaine de l'AEWA) Office Français de la Biodiversité OMPO (Oiseaux Migrateurs du Palearctique Occidental) Fondation François Sommer

The RESSOURCE Project, launched in 2017, is coordinated by FAO and implemented by technical partners with recognized expertise in birds & wetlands conservation and food security. Co-funded by the French Facility for Global Environment and the European Union, the project is the Sahelian component of the Sustainable Wildlife Management Programme (SWMP).

In the wetlands of Egypt, Mali, Senegal, Sudan and Chad, RESSOURCE aims to tackle the challenges facing people and migratory waterbirds. It collaborates with local communities, national authorities and local institutions in charge of wildlife to:

  • improve knowledge on waterbirds populations and their Sahelian wetlands habitats as well as on the major threats to their conservation;
  • develop innovative solutions for the monitoring and sustainable management of waterbirds populations and their Sahelian habitats.

During this side-event, three major results of the RESSOURCE project will be displayed:

(1) Conserving wetlands with white water-lily: the RESSOURCE project experience in the Senegal River Delta. A major asset of harvesting water-lily seeds and using them economically is that water-lily cultivation contributes to conserve and even restore wetlands, including former/abandoned rice fields, for the benefit of numerous ecosystem services, including waterfowl food. It also promotes the production of fish, another highly profitable natural resource. The water-lily exploitation is therefore to be encouraged as it can allow a rational and sustainable exploitation of wetlands for the benefit of the local population and aquatic biodiversity.

(2) The Khor Abu Habil Inner Delta in Sudan is a 9,500 km² endoreic delta made up of hundreds of temporary pools that appear during flooding and drying up progressively over the dry season. Field surveys highlighted its exceptional value for both migratory waterbirds and people. A close collaboration and efforts between the project team and Sudanese partners resulted in the designation of the on 19 July 2022 as the 4th Ramsar site in Sudan. A beautiful documentary film, co-funded by the François Sommer Foundation and the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, illustrates the natural treasures of the area and the long participatory Ramsar site designation process leading to a consensual agreement for the Ramsar designation of this site.

(3) The RESSOURCE Project is developing a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on identification and introduction to ecological monitoring of waterbirds in North Africa and Sahel, with a strong link with Wetlands conservation. The MOOC is a simple and accessible training tool that allows unlimited number of students to acquire new skills and knowledge, as well as a certificate upon completion of the course. Structured into 6 modules, this e-learning course will be made up of a succession of slideshows, animations, videos, interviews, species' sheets and training and assessment quizzes. The objective is to strengthen and expand the network of observers and technicians likely to carry out ecological monitoring of waterbirds and wetlands and to perpetuate the training provided in previous years, by facilitating access to specific tailored training tools. The modules developed will be integrated into the IUCN-PAPACO platform dedicated to online courses on nature conservation.

(4) Improvement of institutional and legal frameworks - Country legal hubs documenting the domestication of the Ramsar Convention and the AEWA Agreement


1. Welcome/opening remarks: Ms Stéphanie BOUZIGES-ESCHMANN (FFEM/General Secretary) + 1 representative of European Union (to be confirmed) + 1 representative of Ministère français de la Transition Écologique et de la Cohésion des Territoires (to be confirmed)


2. Introducing RESSOURCE Project: Bruno PORTIER (FAO/RESSOURCE Project coordinator)


3. Conserving wetlands with White water-lily in Senegal: Lt-Col. Assane NDOYE (Senegal RESSOURCE focal point, DPN) & Patrick TRIPLET (OMPO)

+ video projection: Restaurer les zones humides et valoriser les savoirs traditionnels grâce au nénuphar – #SWMProgramme


4. Ramsar designation of Khor Abu Habil Inner Delta in Sudan: Ms Nadia OMER (Sudan Ramsar focal point, HCENR) + Alban de LOISY (François Sommer Fondation) + J-Y. MONDAIN-MONVAL & P. DEFOS du rau (OFB)

+ video projection: Wetlands conservation in Sahel: Sudanese experience


5. Improvement of institutional and legal frameworks - Country legal hubs documenting the domestication of the Ramsar Convention and the AEWA Agreement: Eugenio SARTORETTO (FAO-LEG)


6. MOOC-RESSOURCE on identification and ecological monitoring of waterbirds in North Africa and Sahel: Ms Clémence DESCHAMPS (Tour du Valat)

+ video projection: RESSOURCE-MOOC teaser


7. Conclusions: Pierre DUBREUIL (OFB/Director General)


8. Q&A + debates. Moderation/facilitation: Bruno PORTIER (FAO/RESSOURCE Project coordinator).


9. Closing cocktail offered by the OFB and the Tour du Valat