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Abidjan - Representatives of the Canary Current Large Ecosystem countries (CCLME) met in Dakar from 21 to 22 June 2018, to report on milestones and discuss the last phase of the CCLME project. The project aims at safeguarding marine resources and coastlines of countries such as Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, the Republic of Guinea and Sierra Leone.

During the two-day meeting, the seven countries represented, evaluated the achievements, the results and the impacts of the activities carried out by the project. In an introductory presentation that took place at the “Centre de Suivi Ecologique” (CSE), Professor Jacques Abé, Coordinator of the component 3 of the project, summarized the results and achievements on biodiversity, habitats and water quality. A component whose results were appreciated by the representatives of the countries, especially when 90 to 95% of the activities planned throughout the duration of the project were carried out.

For Abou Bamba, Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention and Regional Coordinator of the Action Plan for West, Central and South Africa, "it has been recognized that the health of marine ecosystems and coastal areas, observed for the last 30 years, is too fragile. Everything upstream on the coast is inevitably at sea and degrades habitats, including mangrove ecosystems where fish breed”. The same phenomenon is observed, particularly with the deterioration of water quality following upstream pollution.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention, "the CCLME has sounded the alarm and made an accurate and scientific diagnosis in order to identify the main problems and especially to address them to the decision-makers of the different countries".

In a second phase of the project, it is a question, to implement a strategic action plan to reduce the degradation of the marine resources and the coasts in favor of fishing to further develop the halieutic production. The implementation of the strategic action plan includes the management of the technical problems and the increase by 2, 3 and 4, the fish production of the countries of the world. For the latter, it will be necessary to reduce sources of land-based products in this plan and strengthen the governance of the oceans in the countries of the world. "It has been more efficient, in a structure, oceans of a multiple organizations, than the fish, the hydrocarbons, the tourism, the energy, the water of the water, etc.", he noted, before advocating integrated ocean governance.

At the end of the presentations and discussions, a series of recommendations emanated from the exchanges between the members of the working group. Thus the WG recommends the following: (a) In respect of biodiversity: - support the efforts of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography of the University of Vigo to strengthen marine biodiversity capacity in the CCLME countries. (b) Under critical habitats: - Present a diagram of the national and institutional context and show the pillars on which the management structure will be based. - get back in touch with WCMC. (c) Under the mangrove: -Precise the definition of the wetland and make a reference to the documents of the Abidjan Convention or RAMSAR. - Encourage mangrove work in the CCLME area - Organize a field assessment mission on the results of the N5 pilot project on mangrove reforestation in Senegal, Guinea Bissau and The Gambia. (d) Under the LBSA: - translate the English version of the LBSA document into French for more visibility and allow some time for the members of the WG to react on its content. - indicate not only the cost of such a plan but also evaluate what it would cost to do nothing. e) Generally speaking: - Edit and publish essential documents for this phase of the project and make them available to experts from member countries.