From 29-31 May 2018, Senegal held the 3rd edition of its National Conference on Sustainable Development, with the theme of “Sustainable and Healthy Exploitation and Management of Gas and Oil Resources” in the city of Diamniadio.
As considerable oil and gas deposits have been discovered in Senegal in recent years, developing strategies and mechanisms for sustainable management of oil and gas resources is critical to Senegal’s energy independence and the safeguarding of its population and environment.
The conference gathered experts from the Senegalese government, stakeholders from the private sector and civil society, and international experts from the Netherlands and Ghana, among others. The conference featured discussions on the current state of hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation in Senegal, potential adverse environmental and social impacts, and strategies for minimizing such impacts.
The conference focused on the findings of a scientific commission that conducted research on “Governance of oil and gas exploration and exploitation” and “Environmental impacts linked to the oil and gas sectors”. The research notably built on a report conducted by PAGE on how to manage oil and gas revenue in order to promote sustainable development, which is cited as a reference document for the scientific commission’s work. The report also addressed the potential establishment of a National Fund for Monitoring, Preventing and Combating Pollution and Nuisance in the Oil and Gas Sector.
Following the presentation of the findings from the scientific commission, various national and international experts provided inputs, and three workshops were organized in order to deepen the discussions.
The outcome of the conference was the sharing of recommendations pertaining to various themes identified as essential to the sustainable management of oil and gas resources. The recommendations notably dealt with environmental impact assessments and corporate social responsibility; the development of a management framework to deal with pollution and man-made disaster risks; information, education and training on environmental risks; and the institutional, legal and financial frameworks relevant to the oil and gas sector.
This conference served as an important milestone for Senegal’s mitigation of hydrocarbon related risks and its ambitions for an environmentally resilient and prosperous future.