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ABIDJAN 15 September - GRID-Arendal and the Abidjan Convention Secretariat have agreed to solidify their collaboration in several areas following the working visit of the Convention Regional Coordinator Abou Bamba to the Norwegiannon-profit foundation, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in August.

Photo ©: GRID-Arendal/2014
Abidjan Convention Regional Coordinator Abou Bamba at podium.

He also took part in a workshop on “Visioning our Ocean of Tomorrow”, at which he made a presentation on the Abidjan Convention’s collection of data to prepare State of the Marine Environment reports for West African countries.

GRID-Arendal, an environmental knowledge centre, is heading the Convention’s project to prepare these reports in five pilot countries (Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Liberia and Sierra Leone), to be rolled out. Agreement was reached that GRID-Arendal and the Abidjan Convention Secretariat would develop a regional proposal for the preparation of the State of the Abidjan Convention Area Marine Environment.In this respect, a milestone in the implementation of the project has been reached with the development of a common reporting template to be used by the 22 Convention member states at the next conference of parties in 2017. The template is based on the structure of the World Ocean Assessment, for which a regional marine environmental indicator set has been prepared. [PHOTO IU6A0061 – Steiner speaks at the anniversary]


LOME 22 July 2014 – Environmental security remains a challenge in the Gulf of Guinea and needs a sustained, robust response by countries in the area, Abidjan Convention Regional Abou Bamba said Tuesday.

“From Nouackchott to Port Harcourt, the lives of millions are threatened by climate change related environmental risks,” he said at the opening of an environmental security symposiun in Lome, capital of Togo.

The four-day symposium is co-sponsored by the United States Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through the UNEP-administered secretariat of the Abidjan Convention.

The Gulf of Guinea is among the world’s most productive marine areas. However, it faces serious environmental challenges such as coastal erosion, sea level rise, land-based sources of pollution, overfishing, and major oil spills that threaten the life and livelihoods of tens of millions of coastal dwellers from Banjul, Gambia; to Port Harcourt, Nigeria.


ABIDJAN 21 July 2014 - Nigeria has been officially notified that it had been chosen to host the Regional Coordination Centre for Marine Pollution Emergency of the Abidjan Convention.

Convention Coordinator Abou Bamba handed on 10 July a letter of approval to host the centre to Nigerian Environment Minister Lawrentia Mallam, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The decision to locate in Nigeria was made at 11th Conference of Parties to the Abidjan Convention (COP 11) held 17-21 March in the South African coastalcity of Cape Town. Nigerian already has its National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA. The regional coordination centre for the Abidjan Convention will be within the NOSDRA headquarters in Abuja and its tactical arm in the south-eastern city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The regional centre should be operational in January 2015 and will coordinate measures against transboundary marine pollution across the 22 coastal countries under the convention’s jurisdiction.


ABIDJAN  18 July 2014 -  A three-day scooping conference by Abidjan Convention partners to secure the foundations for fish food security in West, Central and Southern Africa Atlantic countries ended upbeat Wednesday. During the talks, Norway pledged support to regional organizations centred on fisheries and the marine environment.

In his speech to the 19 participants present, the specialist director of the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Johan Williams, said support to the regional organizations would start in the countries bordering Africa’s Atlantic coast. If successful, it will be up-scaled by 2018 and expanded to other regions.

The meeting was organized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Norwegian government, with the aim of supporting a project to make oceans productive and sustainable by applying ecosystem-based management of its resources. Strengthening cooperation between regional fishery bodies and UNEP’s regional seas programmes was another meeting objective.

This gathering marked the beginning of project preparation, the first of three phases expected to run at least five years, during which such cooperation will be built to improve management as a contribution to food security.  The project initiative is supported by UNEP.


ABIDJAN 15 July 2014 – A scoping meeting for “Securing the Foundations for Fish Food Security in West, Central and Southern Africa” is under way in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Sixteen delegates are in attendance at the three-day meeting representing subregional fisheries bodies of West and Central Africa, the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, as well as state environmental and oceanographic institutes. The meeting is jointly organized by Norway and the two United Nations agencies.

One aim of the meeting, which began Tuesday, is to forge common understanding of an approach to ensuring ocean fish food security to be adopted between regional seas programmes and regional fishery bodies. Another is to agree on elements of project activities to be undertaken during project implementation. These elements should include selection of pilot activities, subregions or countries, thematic intervention areas, necessary budgets, implementation modalities and process of future replication.


GRAND LAHOU, Côte d’Ivoire, 13 June 2014 - The Abidjan Convention joined the Ivorian Ministry of Environment Friday in celebrating World Environment and Ocean Days by donating cleaning and other material to three needy primary schools in the coastal town of Grand Lahou.

“This is a symbolic contribution to encourage to schoolchildren to clean their environment,” Patricia Meledje, the Abidjan Convention programme assistant, said when handing over the material.

Photo credit: Abidjan Convention Secretariat/Emeka Okoye
Abidjan Convention Programme Assistant Patricia Meledje presents Secretariat’s contribution to selectesd schools in Grand Lahou. To her left is Georges Kouadio, director general of the Ministry of Environment.

The donated wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, hoes, garbage and watering cans, tee-shirts, caps and umbrellas were handed to the local organizers at the ceremony in the town marking World Ocean Day. The items were for distribution to Arsene Assouan Usher High School, primary schools Groupe Scolaire Lahou 2 and Lahou Kpanda primary schools.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the world environment and ocean days are commemorate simultaneously due to the proximity of dates and for greater public impact. As with 2013, “Together we have the power to protect the ocean” was this year’s theme for the event marked worldwide on 8 June. World Environment Day is celebrated 5 June and, this year, under the theme “Raise you voice and not the level of the sea.”

This year’s celebrations here were deferred due to the government’s conflicting schedule.Dignitaries at this event included Abidjan Convention Regional Coordinator Abou Bamba; United Nations Industrial Development Organization representative Doris Hribernigg; other ranking officials of the Ministry of Environment; National Assembly member and Mayor of for Grand Lahou Jean Djaya; as well as traditional chiefs of Grand Lahou’s environ.

At the ceremony, held on the premises of Town Hall, Environment Minister Remi Allah Kouadio, told some 500 attendees that Grand Lahou had been chosen for this year’s commemoration because it exemplified of the gravity of the country’s coastal erosion. He said the public needed to be made aware of the problem, which was the government was determined to tackle.


ABIDJAN  -  4 April – The Abidjan Convention and the Regional Network of Marine Protected Areas in West Africa (RAMPAO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) 21 March to, marking the start of cooperation in the conservation, protection and management of marine  protected areas and biodiversity in West Africa.

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 RAMPAO President Aboubacar Oulare. 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