Raising awareness to create interest!

As part of the « Coastal Seabirds » project financed by the MAVA Foundation, BirdLife International and its partners organised in several countries a range of educational activities about coastal areas, mainly used by seabirds as breeding grounds, to inform neighbouring communities and share knowledge on the significance of both these areas and seabirds, the objective being to enhance their knowledge and promote awareness for better conservation.

In Senegal, with the support of the Directorate of National Parks and the Nebeday Association, a documentary film was shot on the ornithological value of the Bird island of the Saloum Delta National Park and the surrounding mangrove ecosystem in order to enhance its natural value. The documentary will be broadcasted on Arte, the European cultural television channel. For its part, the Nature Communauté Développement (NCD) Association undertook a clean-up operation on the Tasssiner beach, a rest area for terns and seagulls near the Langue de Barbarie that fishermen mostly use for offloading their catches. NCD also organised environmental education activities for students from the villages of Mouit and Tassinere about the negative impact of plastic pollution on marine avifauna.

In Mauritania, partnering with the Diawling National Park, Nature Mauritanie organised environmental education sessions around the theme “Marine environment in the face of plastic waste and field trips” for pupils from the Dar Salam school and their parents in order to raise their awareness in the face of this phenomenon.

Finally, in Guinea-Bissau, the Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas (IBAP) arranged programmes on Okinka Pampa and DjanDjan community radios in the Bijagos archipelago and screening-debates with local communities to inform the public on activities for monitoring the Park. In the same vein, the Organização para a Defesa e Desenvolvimento das Zonas Húmidas (ODZH) initiated a series of meetings with fishermen’s groupings, members of the local government and representatives of local communities on the importance of preserving royal terns’ breeding habitats, as well as training sessions on the planning and implementation of environmental education activities about coastal seabirds and wetlands.