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Balancing Development and Conservation in the Inner Niger Delta

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Policy Briefs

“Why are we not implementing activities in the Inner Niger Delta?” This was a recurring question raised by Harande field staff and beneficiaries. Harande had planned to implement its development activities in several regions, including the districts of Youwarou and Tenenkou, which both happened to be within the Inner Niger Delta (IND), a Ramsar wetland of international importance. During the development of Harande’s Initial Environmental Examination, it was identified that development activities implemented not only by Harande but also by 17 other programs active in the IND and the Sourou Floodplain Ramsar sites could negatively impact the conservation of these sensitive and crucial ecosystems. As a result of this discovery, USAID/Mali conducted a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) of all USAID funded activities in these two Ramsar sites in order to outline guidelines for the sustainable implementation of development initiatives within the context of these two protected areas