Lying at the heart of Senegal (around 120 kilometres south of Dakar), the Sine Saloum Delta is one of West Africa’s ecological jewels (it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011). Formed where two rivers – the Sine and Saloum – converge on the Atlantic, this is a region of astonishing biodiversity, consisting of a unique estuarine environment, glorious beaches, mangrove swamps, sand islands and ever-shifting dunes.
The delta supports local communities by providing fresh water, fish, wood, oysters and honey. While 60% of the delta is still covered by mangroves, over the last three decades the area has lost more than 20% of its mangrove areas, sharply increasing salinity and negatively impacting the local environment and people’s livelihoods. Now a burgeoning eco-tourism industry, ongoing mangrove reforestation and other projects to encourage beekeeping and oyster farming are boosting local livelihoods and restoring the health of the delta itself.
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