Last week, the final results of the work in the Mbé basin in Gabon were presented to the stakeholders. The presentation was followed by a very participative discussion on the next steps. The study provides solid evidence that there is a clear economic benefit in the sustainable management and conservation of the watershed. The Nature Conservancy will use this, together with the stakeholders, to generate a positive change in the basin towards a more sustainable management of the watershed.
The participants in the workshop were decision- and policymakers of the Ministry of Forestry and Water, the hydropower company SEEG, the National Park Authority and the Ministry of Environment. Different options for uptake of the outcomes by means new management and financial mechanisms, as well as the elaboration of watershed protection plan were discussed. It was decided to elaborate a clear message based on the outcomes of the study and the workshop and bring this under the attention of high-level policymakers.
Also a short training was given targeted at technical staff from the stakeholder organizations. The training focused on the use of the water resources modeling tool WEAP. The objective of the training was to provide basic understanding of the model concepts and processes of WEAP, provide hands-on training of the WEAP system, building a model from GIS data and interpret the outputs of its application in the Mbé basin.