Project Factsheet
Tools for » Mainstreaming Local Environmental Management in the Planning Process
Project ID:00067163Description:MDGF-1724-E-MRT Mainstreaming
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 2 Oct 2007
MDGF Environ Climate Chg
End Date*: 14 Aug 2012
Country: Mauritania Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The JP has been executed in the Wilayas (municipalities) of Assaba, Brakna and Trarza that are areas affected by a serious degradation of natural resources due to climate change and overexploitation of natural resources. Access to basic services is insufficient in rural areas where only 20% of the population has access to sanitation services and low access to safe water. The country has virtually no environmental coordination mechanisms in place and environment does not appear high on the list of government priorities.

The Programme has therefore developed its strategy around two outcomes: one at the local level with the target population in order to develop better practices in water and sanitation, and the second, at the national level, in order to foment a greater awareness and capacity to incorporate environmental aspects into planning and policy making. The community-based approach adopted by the JP led to a strong ownership and commitment of local partners and beneficiaries. This type of approach proved critical to achieve the results. In the composition of the village committees the requirement was to identify at least 3 women out of the 7 committee members, with at least one of the decision-making posts.

The JP contributed to increase the household income while maintaining various natural ecosystems. More specifically land has been systematically prepared for women cooperatives in vegetable production while regenerating soil used for gum trees. These 16 sites were able to combine Arabic gum collection and vegetable farming, were able to procure additional annual income estimated at US$ 220 per household.

Off-soil cultivation was introduced as a pilot experience in five villages of returnees in Brakna. This led to an increase in income for some 9,000 households in the region. For example, in Hamadalaye, a hundred women were able to collect US$ 10,000 in sales of their vegetable production.

The JP also facilitated access to safe water to 28,000 people and a sanitation system serving some 12,800 people was habilitated (representing 6.25% of the population of the three wilayas).

A national policy inspired from the ATPC (Total Sanitation Steered by Communities) has been developed in May 2011. Furthermore the programme has launched a dynamic for participatory management of natural heritage (forêts classées). Three such forests have been identified and are now managed on a participatory basis.

The population of 155 sites was organized in village committees and managed their environment with the support of some 30 NGOs, under the supervision of the decentralized government services. Regional steering committees of regional institutions and civil society enhance the coordination and information exchange.


Outcome 1:

Promotion of natural resources sustainable management practices, access to safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene through a participatory approach with the target population.

Outcome achievements:

The population of the 155 sites has collectively to regenerating 800 ha. of gum trees,  295 ha. of sylvan-pastoral land, at the anchoring of 742 ha. of live dunes. The population also participated to the management of three natural heritage forests and the restoration of 4,600 ha. of eroded surfaces.

As an example of restoration, the regeneration of mangrove has been a successful experience at large scale in a natural environment. The local population, of their own volition, contributed to fighting against desertification, to the sustainable management of natural resources.

More than 28,000 people have now sustainable water sources through bore-holes and water supply mechanisms. Six laboratories have been established to ensure the control of the water quality in the regions.  More than 6,500 latrines have been self-constructed. A key attitudinal change was undertaken in 260 villages that declared themselves FFOAD (Free From Open Air Defecation). Better solid waste disposal practices were achieved with the purchase of an incinerator.

Six projects of environmental health were implemented in six schools. This allowed improving hygiene and sanitation practices for more than 6,000 people including students, teachers, and parents.


Outcome 2:

Strengthening of national capacities in order to incorporate environmental concerns into the planning process.

Outcome achievements:

The JP has strengthened national capacities in order to better address the environment-poverty problem and incorporating these into plans and policies. Some 50 public servants from various sectors were trained on how to integrate environment in the public policies and in strategic environmental evaluation and integrated evaluation of the ecosystems as useful planning and management tools.

Various studies allowed gaining better understanding on the relation between environment and poverty, notably through four studies of wet ecosystems.

The JP has contributed to better integrate environment in the PRSP through the integration of the linkages between poverty and environment in two specific axes (2 and 4) of the document.


Best practices:

  • The JP was able to secure the participation of UN agencies, national partners and civil society organizations in the establishment of the various products to be delivered.
  • Civil society organization that played a mentoring role for the local population ensured technique competencies were available, particularly given the oversight of the regional institutions.
  • Go-see visits among beneficiaries have been an innovative and positive practice well received as it provided beneficiaries with some peer-to-peer counseling.


Lessons learned:

  • The ATPC was more successful in rural areas than in urban areas given the social cohesion in rural areas.
  • In order to make up for weak institutional capacity, training and capacity development activities were undertaken together with material support to enable joint monitoring missions.


More details can be found in the final project report:

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Mauritania or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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