Article written by Mr. Mamadou Ndong Touré, Project Manager for Climate and Development of Gossas (Senegal)
The Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development, nrg4SD, has implemented the Visiting Experts Program. In this framework, Mr. Mamadou Ndong Touré, Project Manager for Climate and Development of the Departmental Council of Gossas (Senegal) visited Quebec from January 15 to February 11, 2018. This visit follows the joint proposal of Gossas and Quebec during the 2017 call for applications, which was then selected. This is the response that Quebec gave to the expression of interest presented by Gossas in the context of climate change in general, and the carbon market and green financing in particular.
The purpose of the Visiting Experts Program is to strengthen the capacities of nrg4SD’s members through a learning experience on institutional, technical and financial issues related to climate change and sustainable development.
Québec institutions at the heart of the fight against climate change
The Ministry of International Relations and la Francophonie, in association with the Quebec office in Dakar, prepared and coordinated Mr. Touré’s visit. The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, and Fight against Climate Change welcomed the visiting expert and put him in the optimum working conditions. These two ministries were the main architects of the program by coordinating visits and meetings with institutional actors. These ministries, along with the Ministry of Land Use Planning and the Ministry of Forestry, all played a key role in the government’s 2013-2020 Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and the 2015-2020 Québec Government Sustainable Development Strategy. These various institutional meetings allowed Mr. Touré to realize that Québec is totally focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and that they play a pioneering role to inspire other subnational governments, particularly those regions who are members of the nrg4SD.
International Cooperation Organizations (OIC), ambassadors for Québec’s international action to fight climate change
The Quebec Association of International Cooperation Organizations (AQOCI) is a group of organizations of international cooperation (OICs) that contribute to the promotion of Québec’s international actions. These OICs have taken ownership of the international fight against poverty carried by the United Nations and the world’s governments through the SDGs. Therefore, Mr. Touré was able to meet a dozen of OICs, some of them implementing projects in Africa and Haiti. These OICs are real operators in the field of international development. The nrg4SD could collaborate with them to respond to international calls for projects, given their expertise and experience in the areas of climate change and sustainable development.
The Université Laval du Québec, a partner that values knowledge and the “know-how” in the field of sustainable development
Mr. Touré visited the Faculty of Geography, Geomatics and Forestry at the Université Laval du Quebec. He met professors who were very interested in the subject of the fight against climate change, in a context of international cooperation.
In some professors’ opinion, the program for improving the climate resilience of vulnerable populations in the department of Gossas should be accompanied by a Research-Action component, since it would be important to make the most of all the implemented experiences at the local level by documenting them through doctoral dissertations and other research dissertations. The visit to the Chair of International Development, in particular to the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Agroforestry, was also one of the highlights of Mr. Touré’s visit. In fact, the chairpersons expressed their interest in the Visiting Experts program implemented by nrg4SD. Future collaboration possibilities emerged from there, especially in the context of “summer schools” and the research on the resilience of food systems, in connection with FAO.
As a perspective
The nrg4SD’s Visiting Experts Program is a strong asset in the network’s strategy that allows members to meet the requests of other members, exchange experiences and establish reference points. All this, is aligned with the objective of this program, which is to promote the exchange of experiences, mutual learning and cooperation among members. The program has supported Mr. Touré on improving his skills and abilities; in his own words: “The Visiting Experts Program should be further expanded, the beneficiary is the capacity, but the cooperation between the two members is strengthened, giving more visibility to nrg4SD’s actions for a multi-stakeholder and multi-scale environmental governance”.