The UNESCO Regional Office for Science in Africa, in close collaboration with the UNESCO offices in Accra, Bamako, Dakar and Yaounde, organised the 2nd ISARM workshop for Western Africa and the 1st ISARM workshop for Central Africa in Douala, Cameroon, 16-19 May 2011. Both workshops were held simultaneously and organised within the framework of the regional ISARM initiatives implementation during the 7th phase of IHP (IHP-VII, 2008-2013).
The main objective of the workshops was to present and discuss the results of studies conducted by the regional ISARM networks, submit and agree upon a first draft inventory of shared aquifers in Central and West Africa and to discuss the implementation of the Draft articles adopted by the UN General Assmebly on the management of shared aquifers.
Expert hydrogeologists (nominated by national IHP of 17 African countries in Western and Central Africa), representatives of River Basin Organisations of Niger, Senegal, Volta, Chad, Gambia, Congo and representatives of the Water Coordination Centres of ECOWAS and ECCAS attended this important meeting.
The workshops led to a better understanding of the UNGA articles on transboundary aquifer management and raised awareness on the integration of groundwater in the River Basin Organisations' IWRM strategies. Moreover, an outline of the main shared aquifers in West and Central Africa was developed and a strategy for the sustainability of the regional activities for the ISARM Programme was adopted. The draft map shows the already and newly identified transboundary aquifers in West and Central Africa that were agreed upon to include in further research (delineation of boundaries and characterization).