From 26th to 30th of January, the SAREP team under the lead of Prof. Heck visited Mauritania. After expressing their general appreciation of the project in the MoU signed during COP 28, the Mauritanian government had established an interministerial committee for coordinating the next steps related to the project consisting of:
- Mr. Nani Chrougha – Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Mines
- Mr. Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh – Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development
- Mrs. Lalya Ali Camara – Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development
- Mr. Ismael Ould Abdel Vetah – Minister of Water and Sanitation
- Mr. Moma Ould Beïbatt Hamahoullah – Minister of Agriculture
Subsequent to presenting the project to the ministers, further details of the cooperation between SAREP and the respective ministries had to be elaborated. In order to successfully fund the project and initiate a contemporary implementation process Prof. Dr. Heck summarized the required commitment from Mauritania, emphasizing:
- the provision of 2 Mill. hectares of land in Akchar from the Atlantic coast to Choum for a stepwise project development for a period of 50 years,
- the access to sufficient sea water extraction for desalination process and utilization option of a dry salt lake (Sebkha d’Ndrhamcha) to valorize the brine,
- the permission to generate and trade carbon removal certificates on international markets in close alignment with the NDCs, and
- the potential supply of desalinated water to potential hydrogen ventures and communities in Mauretania.
The Ministers unanimously agreed that the SAREP project is of strategic importance for the development of the country and complementary to reach strategic objectives in the field of climate protection and adaptation, food security, employment and potable water provision. Hence, the project is fully supported and supposed to start as soon as possible. The additional establishment of an ecological and protective green belt north of Nouakchott was proposed by the minister of environment and will be included in the project study.
It is envisaged to immediately initiate formal procedures to contractually grant above mentioned rights, concessions and allowances to SAREP.
Furthermore, a first inspection of the intended project site has been conducted.