On 13 and 14 February, the final conference of the Watigueleya Kêlè (Climate Resilience in West Africa) project on the theme “Poetics of the environment and resilience of research” started in Conakry, at the CIRD facilities. The conference aimed to bring together villagers involved in the project and researchers, in order to bridge the gap between the academic sphere and civil society.
On the first day, the villagers participating in the project worked on the reports they had made in their respective villages and reflected on the issues they face at the local level, in relation to the theme of the conference.
On 14 February, the conference opened with the presentation of one report per village by the village participants. In the afternoon, several researchers presented their work on themes such as land law in Guinea (Professor Moustapha Diop, CERFIG), representations of the forest in Casamance (Dr. Céline Labrune-Badiane, ITEM, CNRS/ENS), and the work of Cheick Hamidou Kane on development (Dr. Nicolas Treiber, CIELAM, Aix-Marseille University). The process and preliminary results of the socio-economic survey conducted by Watigueleya Kêlè were presented by Dr Marie-Christine Deleigne (CEPED, Paris). The interactions between the researchers and the audience were fruitful, and many links were drawn between the realities experienced in the villages and the research presented.
This conference was the last occasion that brought together all the members of the Watigueleya Kêlè project, villagers, research team and Donkosira association team, but it will not be the last activity of the project. Indeed, discussions between villagers and researchers have helped to identify areas where exchanges between villages would be beneficial, for example to transmit a technique that is well mastered in one locality, such as the technique of making improved stoves, knowledge, exchanges of seeds for endogenous plants that have disappeared or are no longer used in some villages and are available in others… The last few months of the project will therefore be devoted to these direct exchanges of local knowledge between the different villages.
Thank you to the CIRD team for their welcome, and to all the people who took part in this conference and who contributed to making it a beautiful moment of knowledge exchange!