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Press Releases and Speeches

ABIDJAN  - 4 April – The Abidjan Convention and the Regional Fisheries Committee for the Gulf of Guinea, or COREP, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) 21 March to, kick-starting cooperation in the sustainable management of fishing and fishery habits in the Central Africa area.

The memorandum was signed on behalf of the Abidjan Convention Secretariat by the director of UNEP’s Division of Environment Policy Implementation, Elizabeth Mrema, and COREP Executive Secretary Emile Essema. The brief ceremony took place in Cape Town, South Africa, at the end of the 11 Conference of  Contracting Parties to the Convention for Cooperation in the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Atlantic Coast of the West, Central and Southern Africa Region (the Abidjan Convention). Read More



On January 22-24 2014 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened the first meeting of the Panel of Experts on Ocean Governance for Africa, arranged by the Secretariat of the Abidjan Convention and hosted in Cape Town, South Africa by the International Ocean Institute - Southern Africa (IOI-SA). The meeting aimed to address some of the most pressing challenges to the African continent such as poverty alleviation, security issues (including food), and the impacts of climate change by tackling existing obstacles related to use of ocean goods and services and putting in place a Roadmap to an African Summit on the Governance of the Oceans Read More

GRAND-BASSAM, Cote d’Ivoire 14 June - Abidjan, fondly known here as the pearl of the Lagoon, has lost some of its gleam to litter over the past 11 years. Parts of the city are almost “choking” in garbage, strewn by uncaring members of the public. Little wonder, then, that on World Ocean Day 8 June Environment Minister Remi Allah-Kouadio appealed for residents to shed the littering habit and to become ecocitizens in this nation of some 22 million people.


MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica 16 Oct 2013 - The Abidjan and OSPAR conventions have signed a memorandum of understanding that paves the way for closer mutual cooperation in the protection of their respective marine environments and attainment of common goals.

They vowed to “promote a better understanding and a better coordination” of their respective activities in the North-East and South-East Atlantic. The agreement was signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 2 October by Elizabeth Mrema, the Officer-in-Charge of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and by OSPAR Executive Secretary Darius Campbell. Both officials were attending the second Global Conference on Land-Ocean Connections held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, a vacation paradise.

Photo Credit: OSPAR Commission
L-R: Elizabeth Mrema, officer-in-charge of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation at the United Nations Environment Programme and Darius Campbell, executive secretary of the OSPAR Commission, who signed the memorandum of understanding between the two organizations.

Cooperation between the two secretariats will focus on four main areas. First, is in the exchange of data, the information, knowledge and experiences in their areas of common responsibility. Second, they will consult on issues of mutual interest and harmonize their efforts as much as possible, taking into account their respective responsibilities. Third, both sides will invite their respective representatives to attend their meetings as observers, where relevant, in accordance with their rules of procedure. Fourth, they shall encourage the holding of joint meetings, regional workshops and capacity-building efforts relevant to both parties.

Both conventions will be able to continue their existing collaboration. The memorandum enables them to respond to emerging issues in their areas of expertise and to other issues of common interest, and may raise funds for their activities from public and private sectors.


ABIDJAN 4 June 2013 - Guinea marine scientists began their second week of practical training Tuesday in the separation, identification and sampling of organisms that live on, in or near the bottom of the seabed.

The two-week course which began Tuesday in Conakry, the capital, includes theory on invertebrate marine organisms on the ocean floor, scientifically known as the Benthos Zone. Organisms in this include starfish, oysters, clams, sea cumbers, brittle stars and anemone which scavenge the seabed.