• Strengthen the protection of the site's cultural and natural values;
  • Bring together those working to safeguard the Saloum's riches, in particular those involved in nature, culture and development;
  • Promote the values of the Saloum Delta by proposing its inclusion on the World Heritage List;
  • Coordinate the activities of the players involved by preparing a 2010-2014 Management Plan.

The Saloum Delta is a vast, beautiful wetland that has escaped the rapid industrialization of Senegal's coastal areas. This has been made possible by the complex geography of the islands and mangrove forests, which make it difficult to move around the area and limit human impact. The Delta is known for the richness of its three ecosystems:

  • The mangrove ecosystem, the largest in terms of surface area, is a breeding, feeding and resting ground for fish species and waterbirds in the sub-region.
  • The marine ecosystem, with its many uninhabited islets, is an exceptional sanctuary for breeding birds.
  • The open forest ecosystem protects an important population of medium and large fauna.

In the midst of this exceptional natural environment, you can see ancient traces of human presence: the shell mounds, which are dumping grounds where arch shells, oyster shells and other waste accumulated over 3,000 years. These piles have evolved into artificial islands, which today's populations continue to build. Some of these piles are spectacular in their size, reaching 15 m in thickness (Sandalé pile). As long as mankind does not disturb the natural balance between land and ocean that allows the arches and oysters to develop, the clusters will continue to grow, reinforcing, day by day, the exceptional universal value represented by these mountains of consumed and ingeniously recycled shellfish.
Man's strength in the area has been to understand the fragility of the mangrove ecosystem and to develop reasoned resource exploitation practices.

CRAterre's mission was to support the Senegalese authorities in finalizing the Saloum Delta nomination dossier by the end of January 2010, and in developing a management plan for the site. To finalize both the nomination and the management plan, 4 expert missions totalling 43 working days in Senegal and 15 in France were organized, one by the Africa 2009 program and the other 3 by the MDG-Fund project led by the Senegalese Heritage Department.

All the work was carried out in close collaboration with staff from the Heritage and National Parks Department, as well as with numerous stakeholders. In all, 52 people were involved in the workshops and the formulation of the documents presented to UNESCO.


  • Management plan and nomination finalized and submitted to UNESCO in January 2010;
  • Numerous product photos and texts;
  • A shared vision for the site and a better understanding of each player's projects;


The UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar (BREDA), the Spanish Cooperation, which funded the United Nations MDG-F program "Promoting cultural initiatives and industries in Senegal: Bassari Country and Saloum Delta", the Cultural Heritage Directorate (DPC) in Dakar, the National Parks Directorate, the Missirah eco-guards, the Dakar Oceanium, the AFRICA 2009 program, which supported the launch of the management plan, and around 45 people, representatives of the State or associations.