Heads of States Mobilised for a World Forum in N’Djamena to Safeguard Lake Chad
N’Djamena, 29-31 October 2010 – In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the General Directorate for Globalization and Partnerships, the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Chadian authorities, the 3rd Africa Edition of the 8th World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDF) held in N'Djamena under the main theme: “Save Lake Chad”. Formerly considered as Africa’s land-locked sea, Lake Chad was 25,000 km2 in 1960 but is currently reduced to about 8,000 km2. About 90% of its area has already disappeared. Authorities and some experts blame global worming for its narrowing, whereas others give various reasons and especially its overexploitation for irrigation or urban water needs. This basin is located at the border of four countries (Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad) and is a major migration point which pulls mainly cattle rearers and fishermen.
More than a thousand delegates from the scientific, economic and political world, international institutions, representatives of the civil society and the media, attended this international forum. One of the fundamentals of the forum was to seek urgent solutions to save Lake Chad. For 2 days punctuated with many communications in sessions, participants listened to exposés on about 6 topics, namely: (1) Appraisal… for a Global Approach (2) Climate and Water Resources (3) About Complex and Changing Ecosystems – Variability of the Lake and People’s Movements (4) New Agro-Pastoral Areas (5) Issues of the Development of River Basins and Sustainable Development – Wood and Energy in the Sahel Area (6) Future of the Lake and Sustainable Development Opportunities.
Following these intense deliberations, the experts of the forum scientific committee made proposals for analysis and validation at the forum "political segment" on 31 October 2010, as the closing ceremony of the Forum. Some LCBC heads of States actively attended this segment and enhanced mobilization, namely: Idriss Déby Itno from Chad, Goodluck Jonathan from Nigeria, Mouammar Kadhafi from Libya and François Bozizé from the Central African Republic, and also Abdoulaye Wade from Senegal, as well as the representatives of major financial and development institutions. According to the final communiqué read by the Chadian minister for the Environment, Hassan Terap, participants and heads of states pleaded for the Lake Chad Basin to be classified as a World Heritage and thus become one of the major international sustainable development priorities for the next decades. Also, the Chadian government decided to set up a follow-up committee. Its mission is to follow up and assess actions especially in terms of R&D. The General Delegate, Emile Malet, was appointed by Chad as roving ambassador at the Presidency of the Republic and Ambassador for the save-Lake-Chad campaign.
Forum and Political Segment Documents
For further information, please visit the official website of the Forum: www.sauverlelactchad.org or http://www.fmdd.fr/n-djamena-2010.html
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