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Abidjan Aquatic Wildlife Partnership 1st Meeting Date : 23rd to 25th July 2018 Venue : Seen Hotel - Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire)
Atelier national d'opérationnalisation du plan national d'urgence contre les déversements accidentels d'hydrocarbures en mer du Bénin Date : 09th to 11th of July 2018 Venue : Cotonou, Golden Tulipe le Diplomate, Benin L’atelier national d'opérationnali...

Large Marine Ecosystem Projects

The three large marine ecosystems face similar issues in the management of the coastal and marine environment but have different focal areas.

The Canary and Benguela current areas focus mainly on fisheries, while the Guinea current area places priority on pollution from land-based sources and oil and gas exploration and production, and on coastal processes like erosion.

The focus and the targets of interventions in each large marine ecosystem reflect the priorities of the countries that share three large marine ecosystem projects and, conversely, the three large marine ecosystems represent the priorities of the Abidjan Convention area.

The Canary Current large marine ecosystem (CCLME)

Its characterized by a major, nutrient-rich up-welling of deep, cold oceanic waters off the Canary Islands, which stimulates high biological productivity that results in an abundance of both pelagic and demersal fishery resources.

The up-welling progresses in easterly and southerly directions, gradually dispersing over the continental shelf off Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea and, to a lesser extent, Sierra Leone, as well as around the Cape Verde islands. A Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded large marine ecosystem (LME) project has been approved for execution by FAO.

The overall objective of the CCLME project is to secure global environmental benefits by protecting the ecosystem from degradation caused by over-fishing and pollution.

The Guinea Current large marine ecosystem (GCLME)

It extends from the Bijagos Archipelago (Guinea Bissau) in the north to Cape Lopez (Gabon) in the south.

The ecosystem area is considered to include the exclusive economic zones of 16 countries, namely, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The Guinea current region, and in particular its central part, faces a number of challenges involving population growth and urbanization, fisheries depletion, water pollution, public health and sanitation, habitat degradation, coastal erosion, loss of biological diversity and land-use. Many of the countries in the subregion are oil producers, and the region is exposed to oil pollution.

The GCLME is rich in living marine resources, with the fishing industry providing livelihood for thousands of fishermen and foreign exchange for the countries. The GEF-funded GCLME project components include improving the sustainability of the fisheries and reducing land and sea-based pollution.

The Benguela current large marine ecosystem (BCLME)

It is situated along the coast of south-western Africa, stretching from Luanda (Angola) in the north southwards to the east of the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa). Being one of the four major eastern boundary coastal up-welling ecosystems of the world, the ecosystem's distinctive bathymetry, hydrography, chemistry and trophodynamics combine to make the BCLME one of the most productive and bio-diverse ocean areas in the world.

The area also holds rich deposits of minerals, as well as oil and gas reserves. The natural beauty of the coastal regions, many of which are still pristine, has also enabled the development of significant tourism in some areas. The countries sharing the ecosystem are working together within the GEF-funded BCLME project, which is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and in the multi-national Benguela Environment Fisheries Interaction and Training (BENEFIT) research project, in order to bring about integrated, sustainable management and use of the resources.