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Abidjan – The Swedish Ministry of Environment and Energy has granted some funds to the Abidjan Convention for enhancing productivity and ecosystem services through integrated transboundary protection and ocean management.

This contribution was made to implement the project which goal is to identify and designate transboundary coastal areas between Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Liberia qualified as Marine Protected Areas criteria.

Many independent management measures have been instituted in the countries of the Gulf of Guinea, particularly Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Liberia, e.g. Invasive Aquatic weed control, pollution studies as well as algae bloom.

However, these have not been done in an integrated manner considering the transboundary nature of causes and effects of these issues.

As protected areas are one of the mechanisms used to ensure protection of some of the most vulnerable species and habitats, one option to address the marine and coastal environmental challenges that the three countries face is the identification, creation and management of transboundary Marine Protected Areas, which the Swedish Ministry of Environment and Energy is supporting.

On another hand, it is important to underline that the Abidjan Convention has been in the past a beneficiary of the SIDA Grant and has undertaken a number of activities with the support of this programme especially the implementation of (i) the Component 3 (biodiversity, habitat and water quality) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) Project and (ii) the West, Central and Southern Africa part of the UN Environment Marine and Coastal Strategy for Africa. This contribution has been of a great opportunity towards the revitalization process of the Abidjan Convention.

Role of UN Environment and Abidjan Convention

UN Environment is a United Nation’s organization in charge of the protection of the global environment which has been established regional seas programme since 1974. It has the objective to address the degradation of the oceans and seas of many regions of the world, including African region.

The Abidjan Convention on its part has been established in this context along with the purpose to set up legal mechanisms and instruments for the protection of marine and coastal areas of the neighboring States of the western, central and southern African States.

Vanessa Ahouadjiro/Abdoulaye Diagana