Promoting CEPA for National Biodiversity Strategies: Dakar

Khadire Diop, CEC National Activitator for Senegal and the Gambia, facilitated two 90-minute CEPA sessions during CBD West Africa workshops in May and June.

Mali, West Africa

By Khadire Diop


A workshop on the Convention on Biological Diversity gathered more than 35 representatives from 14 West African countries with the aim of strengthening national capacities for the development, implementation, review, updating and communication of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). Overall, the meeting was held with a view to facilitating national implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. One critical element was to seek ownership of Communication, Education and Communication (CEPA) and the CEPA Toolkit by the participants, in particular by potential CEC members. In this respect, a guideline for a 90-minutes module was designed and provided to facilitators.

The main objective of the session was to unleash the “facilitation potential” of the participants and exchange techniques and strategies to make the most of the CEPA Toolkit. There were three specific objectives: i) raise awareness of the participants about the existence of the CEPA and the CEPA Toolkit, ii) exchange with them on the strategies that can be used to achieve the needed impact among all the concerned stakeholders, iii) enhance their potential for facilitation while seeking feedback.

The session made good use of ready-made handout templates, the "Love Not Loss" video, and a PowerPoint presentation. Prior to the session, these elements had been translated, and the French version of video was available for viewing. Five steps were followed:

  1. Introduction: The session took place on the last day, by that time participants already knew each-other; hence there was no need to have them introduce themselves. We introduced the main objectives and asked participants to state orally their expectations for the session. What did they expect to know, to be able to do, and what kind of attitudinal change did they anticipate? The statements were written on a flipchart by one of the participants. Many related to how to address differing audiences.
  2. Communicating feelings: During this second stage, we showed the video "Love Not Loss". Unfortunately, the sound was very bad quality. Instead, we asked the audience to discuss what the message was about, based on the images they had seen. This first round turned out to be very interesting. Challenging ideas were discussed about the message, including the importance of emotion in bringing about attitudinal change.
  3. Team Work: In working teams, the participants discussed and completed the handouts on the CEPA three basic points to remember.
  4. Consolidation of the Team Work: We used the CEPA PowerPoint to further consolidate the points raised in the Team Work. The last issued or point was particularly a challenging issue.
  5. Closing: We concluded by distributing the CEC documentations and electronic references for further reading.


During the regional workshop on tthe Review of Biodiversity National Strategies and Action Plans held in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) from 19 to 23 June 2011, I facilitated, for a second time, the 90-minute session on the use of the CEPA Toolkit.. Read the full report in French here.

Contact: Abdou Khadire Diop,  

For more information about the IUCN CEC Specialty Group for CEPA, click here >>

For more information about CEC in West and Central Africa, click here >>

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