Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
Togo’s economic crisis forced the population to fall back on the natural resources of the country. In addition, concern for economic growth and production practices, in place in various development sectors to respond to the population’s needs, have multiple harmful effects on the environment and particularly on biological diversity. Beyond the traditional modes of conservation of biological diversity, Togo has taken important technical, legal, political and institutional measures to suppress these problems while instituting principles of precaution, prevention, information, education, communication, accountability, participation, inter-generational equity, coordination and exploitation of synergies and internalisation of costs for actors who degrade the environment. Also, within the framework of implementation of the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, the aforementioned principles will be reinforced through partnerships, decentralization, integrated and multisector approaches as well as by the Ecosystem Approach.
Reforms are in process at all these levels so that a better framework for the conservation and management of natural resources, in a spirit of participation, exploitation of synergies, coherence, decentralization and devolution, can be established.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
Reinforcement of the legal system in regard to the protection of specific areas is mentioned. Togo intends to improve monitoring and increase penalties for criminal activities.
The Protected Areas Rehabilitation Programme of Togo, financed by the European Commission under funds from STABEX 91-94, is in place since 2000, and is in its final phase. After having conducted a rapid evaluation on the state of the main classified forests in Togo, 7 priority areas were selected for initiating pilot rehabilitation processes. This programme incorporated essential preambles like: the establishment of a National Protected Areas System, which responds to the demands of international definitions, notably those of IUCN (1994); the operational re-qualification of the areas making up the system; and the consensual delimitation and organization of the management of these areas into a partnership, state and populace, appropriate to each case.
In fact, the results obtained from the last evaluations are mitigated: the administrative, jurisdictional and regulatory preambles were not fulfilled, handicapping all measures, and causing considerable delay. However, the motivation of the population, especially in light of the consensual re-delimitation work, was usually judged as encouraging. The partitioning of the re-delimitated areas will be an area of intervention. In any case, this program allowed: to clearly identify the obstacles linked to a lack of application of political will; to renew dialogue between the State and local populations, focusing on the controversial issues regarding the protected areas; and the preparation of conditions favorable to the future rehabilitation of at least 5 of the 7 priority protected areas.
The PNADE must consider the peripheries of protected areas as a priority in their interventions. This can be done by effectively re-qualifying these areas, and placing them in the national protected areas system, that remains to be created (the creation of a national protected areas system, and this re-qualification seem to constitute the preamble elements of the startup of PNADE).
This programme permitted the establishment of first contacts in regard to the possible integration of protected areas in the Savanes/Kara Region with the W (WAPO) complex composed of national parks in Burkina Faso, Benin and Niger. Promotion of synergy in national biodiversity management and implementation of a tranversal inter-state ecological approach when dealing with, among others, human, economic and scientific issues are potential functions of this expanded system. Transboundary factors and opportunities favouring regional integration of the management of the protected areas of the Sudano-Sahelian savannas were brought forth at the last meetings of WAPO’s ministerial orientation council. The following joint activities are envisaged:
a) Capacity-building (e.g. training for large tourist companies and surveillance committees, in GIS)
b) Access to information pertaining to research and inter-state meetings on hunting, anti-poaching campaigns, transhumance, introduction of species, etc.
c) The promotion of national areas within the context of transboundary tourism
d) The organization and development of the hunting sector for visitors and village residents, etc.
e) The eventual consideration of national needs in respect of the Ninth Federal Reserve’s (FED) regional integration programme managed by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Research has been undertaken in order to understand how traditional knowledge is contributing to the management and sustainable use of biodiversity. The study will focus notably on the traditional knowledge and practices related to sustainable forest and biodiversity management, and the eating habits and traditional use of threatened plant species. Initiatives regarding traditional medicine are also mentioned. Furthermore, specific programmes regarding protected areas are being established such as the revision of the delimitation of protected areas with local communities.