Frexus Project // 9th World Water Forum in Diamniadio, Dakar 2022
The 9th World Water Forum, which was based on the theme "Water Security for Peace and Development", took place in Diamniadio, Dakar. The Frexus project was presented during the session entitled "Peaceful Development Approaches in the Niger and Lake Chad Basin".
This article is also available in French.
Frexus at the 9th World Water Forum
The session "Peaceful Development Approaches in the Niger and Lake Chad Basin" was opened by the representative of the German Federal Government who underlined the importance that the financial partners (EU, BMZ) of the Frexus project give to the topic and the approach used by the Frexus project.
The session focused on conflict-sensitive policy-making in small communities based on a thorough analysis of the conditions on the ground. In this framework, the Frexus project presented the local analysis tool that examines the interaction of natural resources, climate change, and peace and conflict. The aim of the tool is to support decision-making for conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution, in participation with local stakeholders and applied in selected communities in the intervention area. The results of the tool were presented through a dashboard that links all these elements through selected indicators.
This session explained how to use the global and local analytical tool developed by the Frexus project to alert conflict situations and inform decisions on politically effective actions according to the level of intervention of each actor. The panelists explained and supported the added value of such an approach and reiterated with concrete examples how these tools bring added value to their daily work.
In addition, this session showed how tools developed in the framework of the Frexus project can help stakeholders to take joint and informed action from local to international level. During the session, the two basin organisations, Niger Basin Authority (ABN) and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), spoke of their satisfaction and the facilitation that the presented approach and tools can bring to their work of informing decisions not only at the transboundary scale, but also at the community level. ABN stressed that the approach allows them to reach a community consensus on natural resource management that will facilitate consensus at state level. The LCBC also believes that "tools that go to the local level to inform decisions are critical to their role".
The session also highlighted the involvement of local actors and the consideration of their roles in conflict issues related to natural resource management. Above all, it demonstrated the closeness of the approach to local communities and the recognition of their need for information and the role they can play in helping to transform natural resource management conflicts into sustainable development opportunities.
Presentation of the Frexus approach
The Frexus project distinguished itself from other projects with its structure that allows to reflect different stakeholder perspectives and create a space for dialogue and common understanding for any sustainable development action at community level. The different stakeholders, who participated in the session, indicated their interest in using this approach and the tools developed to improve their impact at community level by integrating a shared stakeholder perspective on the interactions between water resources, energy, food security and safety. One of the NGOs - Winrock International - indicated that they would like to use the Nexus approach and tools in Niger and Burkina Faso.
The academics who participated in the session highlighted the flexibility of the approach which allows for its sustainability. Nevertheless, the need to improve communication and tools was highlighted in order to make them more useful.
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