Building on local and national government data, field work, interviews with local stakeholders, the UNCDF-LoBI programme has just published its first regional cartography of the IIRSahel region with the financial support of UNDP Niger.
The publication covers the territory between the Gao and Tombouctou regions in Mali, the Tillabéri region in Niger and the Sahel region in Burkina.
The LoBI Atlas is composed of two parts: the first being a cartography composed of maps and other visual aids to highlight the resources of the region (and by extension its economic and environmental potential), including the natural, hydraulic, biological, agricultural, economic and infrastructure resources of the territory. The second part consists of a directory of local stakeholders such as the mayors, governors, deconcentrated technical services, local NGOs, farmer’s and livestock organizations and veterinary services amongst others.
The relevance of the information contained in the Atlas and their visualization through simple maps, makes the Atlas an ideal tool to support informed decision-making at the local level whilst at the same time facilitating a shared understanding of the resource potential that exist in the cross-border area between the three countries. The Atlas was designed to support this process by offering local stakeholders and decision-makers an easy-to-use reference guide that avoids the pitfalls of information overload whilst presenting concise information on topics of relevance to the local authorities and communities, such as agricultural output, data on the livestock economy or even the geographic location of key infrastructures and services.
The Atlas also highlights potential gaps in the offering of services that can be addressed jointly by the local governments of the IIRSahel area through a common reading of the shared challenges such as the relative absence of certain type of infrastructure or services in some pockets of the zone. In combining the information contained in the various maps, the Atlas also helps local stakeholders improve their understanding of how the geographical, natural, environmental and economic features of the region interact.
This first edition of the Atlas will act as a pilot and will certainly not remain the last iteration of this tool. Indeed, reliable and complete data can be hard to come by and the informal nature of many cross-border interactions of the zone and its economic activities make it very hard to attain high accuracy. As a result, the Atlas will remain a living document, requesting regular updates and the gradual inclusion of new themes and data sets as they emerge. The role of local stakeholders in this cannot be understated: the LoBI Atlas is owned by them and its usefulness will depend to a large extent on making sure that what it contains is as true to the environmental, political, social and economic reality of the zone as possible.
Hard copy versions of the Atlas have been printed only in limited stock to be provided to the local stakeholders and partners involved in the IIRSahel zone. A printable version can be accessed downloaded below (in French only):