Île-de-France Region – former region of Dakar (Senegal): creating a coordinated assessment to fight climate change together (24 November, 2015)

The region of Dakar is affected by climate change in more ways than one: coastal erosion, flooding, incomplete waste collection, air pollution, etc.

As part of their cooperation, in 2012 the former region of Dakar and the Île-de-France region decided to set up an Integrated Territorial Climate Plan (PCTI), the first climate plan in Africa stemming from decentralized cooperation.

The aim of the PCTI for the Dakar region is to list, strengthen, guide, and create synergies between disparate and sector-based initiatives at local level, to define a genuine development strategy. As a framework document, it enables all policies combating climate change to be coordinated.

With a mitigation component aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and an adaptation component which helps to tackle the changes inevitably underway, the PCTI was set up on the basis of a discussion on the energy efficiency of buildings, on the use of local renewable energy resources (e.g. solar and wind), on a more sustainable transport and mobility policy, etc. It is also based on measures to be taken to protect maritime, coastal and forest areas, as well as against severe flood risks.


The Dakar metropolitan area.

How many people will benefit?

Estimated at 3.5 million (population of the Dakar metropolitan area, 2015)

Who are the stakeholders?

The decentralization reform implemented by the Senegalese Government in 2013, which abolished regional councils, including that of Dakar, affected the legal framework for cooperation hitherto managed by the Île-de-France regional council and Dakar regional council, as well as the implementation of projects set out between the two institutions.

In order to continue its commitment alongside the local Senagalese authorities and to maintain the ties created between the two territories, a new partnership was set up between the Île-de-France region and the city of Dakar, in association with the Rufisque departmental council, enabling projects launched under the former Dakar regional council to be completed, including the Integrated Territorial Climate Plan, which is 85% complete.

At the request of the two regional councils, management of the PCTI project was granted to the Regional Agency for the Environment and New Energies (ARENE), an associate body of the Île-de-France region. With support from ARENE in designing and developing the programme, Dakar regional council then implemented it on its territory.
Both regions, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) invested in the programme.

What is the goal?

The goal is to unite all territorial stakeholders, and to place sustainable development and the climate at the heart of their action.

The specific goal of the PTCI is to organize a shared assessment of the territory, to identify the sources of greenhouse gas emissions and how to reduce them, and to propose, make accessible to all, and implement an action plan at territorial level with all stakeholders, and then to evaluate its results. This is an essential step in the fight against climate change.

Spotlight on assessing water and sanitation: from a lack of drinking water to flooding

In the entire conurbation of Dakar, only a small part, located in the city centre, is drained by a network of sewers. The remaining urban space and in particular the suburbs has no collective sanitation system and thus depends on the existing sludge management resources for collecting and treating water.

The current model which pits individual sanitation (via latrines and septic tanks) against collective sanitation (via sewer networks) has led to a deadlock and is significantly hindering growth in the sector. None of these technological options solve the problem of sludge treatment, nor do they deal with the huge pollution which it can cause.

Pape Ahmed Keita, regional councillor, deputy mayor of Guédiawaye, talks about the situation in his town:

"My town of Guédiawaye has been hit by floods related to climate change. Without waiting for outside help, a team of volunteers organized cooperation efforts in which all residents participated for over two years. Here, when we talk about flooding, it automatically means relocations, resettlements, etc. But how can one million people be resettled in the Dakar region? There is no more room and we do not want to see the little arable land which remains disappear.

Through meetings and small training sessions, we had to explain the cause of these problems, inform the people that adaptation measures do exist, and that they must come from the people themselves: spatial planning, town planning, facilities, etc. We have reflected on individual homes. People value their homes, with their extended families, but it is possible to design smaller, better suited houses. It is difficult to ask extremely poor people to make a financial contribution. But we have come up with a mechanism: joint accounts for neighbourhoods; a specific supervisory system; different, predefined contribution levels; and a timeframe of three years to contribute. Eighty percent of people have contributed, because they have taken part in the initiative and believe in it.

A climate plan is not just for the environment, it is a gateway to development planning, encompassing all sectors and mobilizing the entire population".

What is the current assessment ?

The programme has undergone a long process of territorial assessment and analyses of the socio-economic and ecological issues in the Dakar region in the face of climate change:

  • energy balance conducted and greenhouse gas emissions assessed;
  • study of the Dakar region’s vulnerability to climate change;
  • diagnosis of the energy and thermal fluids of secondary schools in the Dakar region;
  • study on food security in the Dakar region.

The Dakar Region Climate Plan was created using a co-construction approach. In addition to Dakar regional council, its elected representatives and administrative staff, all 53 communes making up the region of Dakar were mobilized. Similarly, all institutional actors from the Dakar region (State services and agencies), from civil society and the private sector, universities and researchers were involved in the project.

Dakar regional council played an important role in coordinating and managing consultative frameworks between the various actors, as well as an advocacy role towards the State to propose regulatory adjustments on climate issues.

The consultation phase with all these actors and the consideration of the concerns of each one concluded with the presentation of 47 "task sheets" and led to the creation of strategic guidelines for the PCTI:

  • collective and civic responsibility;
  • participatory governance and management;
  • healthier and better developed region;
  • food security;
  • energy efficiency;
  • corporate involvement in fighting climate change.

This important consultation phase enabled the various actors to take real ownership of the "climate" theme and a collective process to be put in place.

Deploying the programme in other countries:

The project leaders must be provided with support as they conduct their work, which will ensure that synergies continue to exist between stakeholders, including with the donors in order to finance the projects. Furthermore, the capitalization of the process will help to replicate the programme in other areas of cooperation in the Île-de-France region.

Image Diaporama - Flooding near the livestock markets. Photo: (...)

Flooding near the livestock markets. Photo: ARENE

Image Diaporama - Floods are a regular occurrence in Dakar. (...)

Floods are a regular occurrence in Dakar. Photo: ARENE

Image Diaporama - Water is a major urban challenge in Dakar. (...)

Water is a major urban challenge in Dakar. Photo: ARENE

Image Diaporama - Working on drinking water circuits. Photo: (...)

Working on drinking water circuits. Photo: ARENE