Webinar Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction in the Southeast Pacific and Southeast Atlantic   Event hosted by the Abidjan Convention Secretariat, the Secretariat of the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific...

Banjul 19 July 2016 - Mr. Ousmane Sow, the Permanent Secretary of the Gambian Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Water, Wildlife and Fisheries gave the Official launch of formulated additional Protocols to the Abidjan Convention. National Consultations on the additional Protocols of the Abidjan Convention (Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Sustainable Management of Mangrove, Environmental Standards on Oil and Gas) and discussion on Amended Text of the Abidjan Convention, will be held in countries of the Convention’s area.


Photo ©: Richard Dacosta Abidjan Convention

The main objectives of these meetings aim at (i) reviewing the last 3 protocols and texts of the Convention and its contingency plan and (ii) prepare for validation at upcoming COP12 of the Abidjan Convention which is scheduled for March 2017 in Banjul.

The official ceremony which started on Monday, 18 July 2016 in Banjul, The Gambia gathered about forty national experts from various sectors such as environment, forests, water resources, right to the environment, parks, tourism, fishing, marine issues, projects and national programmes. Among the participants, 20 have been sponsored by the government of Gambia.

At the end of the proceedings, the texts will be submitted to plenary for restitution.

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ABIDJAN 25 September 2015 - Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara received Friday a United Nations report detailing decades of environmental destruction in the country, especially during 11 years of civil war and political turmoil.

Ouattara’s government came to power in 2011 and asked the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for a post-crisis environmental impact assessment of the country. Read More

CALABAR, Nigeria 31 July 2015 – Marine specialists agreed Wednesday to a protocol that would legally bind 22 countries within Abidjan Convention area to protect mangroves and manage them sustainably.

The protocol had been undergoing its second review by experts before being sent to Convention member states for revision and final adoption by the next Conference of Parties to the Convention.

The meeting in the south-eastern coastal Nigerian Calabar was symbolic as the city lies within the oil-bearing Niger Delta, which accounts for at least 10,000 square kilometres of the country's mangrove cover. The county has Africa’s and the world’s third concentration of mangroves. All eight species of mangroves in West Africa grow in the country.

In a message to delegates at the meeting that began Tuesday, Abidjan Convention Regional Coordinator Abou Bamba said for decades states had developed national and transboundary strategies to stem the degradation of the mangrove ecosystems.

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CALABAR, Nigeria 29 July 2015 - Nigeria will lend its total support to programmes and activities that can improve the environment and lives of the coastal communities, Halima Bawa-Bwari, the Abidjan Convention National Focal Point at the Federal Ministry of Environment, has said.

“The Federal Government will always show commitment to all programmes that will enable sustainable development,” she in a statement delivered at a panel of experts’ meeting on mangroves organized by the Abidjan Convention Secretariat.

Her statement was read by Joyce Kitakang, the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem desk officer at the ministry.

This is the panel’s second meeting to refine a West African mangrove charter to become an additional protocol to the Abidjan Convention, a legal entity concerning 22 countries from Mauritania to the western seaboard of South Africa.

The three-day meeting began Tuesday in the south-eastern coastal city of Calabar to validate the protocol. Then, it will be sent to Convention member states for final revision before being tabled for adoption at the next Conference of Parties to the Convention.

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ABIDJAN 5 May 2015 –A panel of 35 experts convened by the Abidjan Convention Secretariat are due to end Thursday a three-day workshop on the strategic assessment of environmental issues, policies and ports’ programmes in West, Central and Southern Africa.


Photo ©: Officials at the opening ceremonyCopyright: PAA.

The meeting which aimed at examining how port and maritime activities affect biodiversity and ecosystems in the Convention region was organized by the Abidjan Convention Secretariat with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency; and in partnership with the Abidjan Port, the African Network of Ports for the Environment, and the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa.

The meeting was the first of its kind by the Abidjan Convention Secretariat and marks an important step in resolving environmental problems caused by shipping in the Convention area.

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ACCRA 30 April 2015 – Ghana has appealed to the Abidjan Convention for swift technical assistance to halt the brown seaweed menace along the West African coast.

The appeal was made 23 April when Abidjan Convention Regional Coordinator Abou Bamba led a UNEP delegation to meet with Ghanaian Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Mahama Ayariga. The minister’s appeal was made in his capacity as Chair of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States.


Photo credit: Marine Litter - Sargassum weed - Plage de G.Bassam 16.04.15

He said the seaweed, known as the Sargassum, had been causing serious environmental problems in Ghana, and disrupting fishing as well as tourism. Ghana is one of Africa’s major fishing nations, landing annual catches in the hundreds of thousands and potentially earning it tens of millions of US dollars in sales.

Commenting on the seaweed menace, Bamba said Monday that Côte d'Ivoire’s representative on the Convention’s Committee on Science and Technology had also asked the Secretariat that measures be taken to deal with the seaweed invasion along the shores of Grand-Bassam, a UNESCO world Heritage site and Côte d’Ivoire’s first capital.

 

The seaweed menace may stem from the Sargasso Sea, which has the World’s greatest concentration of Sargassum. The sea is hemmed in to the north by the North Atlantic Current, to the west by the Gulf Stream, and to the east by the Canary Current. Together they form the North Atlantic Gyre, one of five worldwide. Marine plants and refuse from these currents deposit into this Gyre. The resulting seaweed has drifted from this area to other shores of the west and eastern Atlantic, possibly brought by the Canary Current that runs south and westward brushing upper West Africa.

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ABIDJAN, 23 Feb 2015 – Sierra Leone has endorsed two reports that recognize the threats to its marine and coastal environment, and which would contribute to a future integrated management of its coastal zone.

The Coastal and Marine Oil Spill Sensitivity Mapping for Sierra Leone, and the State of the Marine Environment Report for Sierra Leone were validated 22 January at a workshop comprising government ministries responsible for marine and coastal zone affairs, the University of Sierra Leone, and non-governmental bodies with environmental and conservation interests.

Mapping of the country’s entire coastline for susceptibility to oil spills began in 2014. Mapping was carried out by Senegal’s Centre for Ecological Monitoring and covered an area 10 kilometres inland from the entire shoreline. Offshore oil exploration has raised the government’s awareness of the possibility of accidents

“Reducing the risk of oil spills is the most appropriate strategy for minimizing the impact to the environment and coastal resources,” Haddijatou Jallow, executive chairperson of the Environment Protection Agency-Sierra Leone, told the 36 participants at the workshop.

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