IUCN organized a regional preparation and training workshop for civil society actors of the 5 major water basins of the region (the Niger, Senegal, Gambia, Volta and Mano) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from January 17th, to 19th, 2011. It follows activities already carried out, including the electronic forum and the Nouakchott and Sélingué forums, and brought together representatives from 15 West African countries. Participants were able to discuss about and share ideas on the conclusions and recommendations of previous meetings. They also received training on advocacy techniques that will help them to put forth the concerns of civil society in multi-actor forums that are open to them. A total of 7 avenues of concrete recommendations were made to participate actively in the development by ECOWAS of a future Directive on the management of large dams in West Africa. A positioning and participation strategy in regional workshops that followed, organized by WRCC in the basins on January 20th, 24th and 27th respectively in Ouagadougou, Niamey and Dakar was prepared. These meetings brought together states, basin agencies and civil society, to make adjustments to the recommendations of the panel of independent experts, which will be validated, after incorporating modifications, at a regional workshop slated for the month of May.
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