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...

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

WINDHOEK 17 Jan - Namibia’s 1,570-kilometre coastal and marine environment has the potential to contribute significantly to the country’s economic development and an improved quality of life for all Namibians. This requires managing it in a sustainable way.

With this in mind, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has crafted the National Policy on Coastal Management for Namibia.

Photo credit: Absalom Shigwedha/2014
Greater and lesser flamingoes at the Walvis Bay Lagoon, one of Namibia's four Ramsar Sites.

The Namibian coastline extends from the Orange River on the South African border, to the mouth of the Kunene River on the Angolan border.The coastline hosts globally significant biodiversity, unique cultural diversity and supports many economic activities.

Launched in March 2013, the 20-page National Policy provides a framework to achieve the specific targets of the National Development Plans for sustainable economic growth, employment creation and reduced inequalities in income. It also aims to strengthen governance of Namibia's coastal areas to realize long-term national goals defined in Vision 2030.

The policy seeks to strike a balance, to improve the quality of life of coastal communities, while maintaining the biological diversity and productivity of the country's coastal ecosystems.It also provides and guides the management actions in coastal resource use and allocation, as well as promotes a balance between development and conservation of the coastal and marine environment.

The policy will help Namibia in implementing the Abidjan Convention — officially 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.

Namibia is now in the process of acceding to the Convention. Adopted in the Ivorian city of Abidjan in 1981, the Convention came into force in 1984. Pollution from or through the atmosphere and from ships, dumping, land-based activities, exploration and exploitation of the sea-bed are among the pressing concerns and issues under the Abidjan Convention that require control.


*Absalom Shigwedha is a Namibian freelance environmental journalist. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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.


CAPE TOWN, South Africa, 29 Jan. 2013 – Unpaid financial pledges to the Abidjan Convention Secretariat dropped to USD 848,163 by 31 December 2013, according to a report tabled Tuesday at the end of the Convention’s Bureau meeting in Cape Town.

At the beginning of 2013 unpaid pledges stood at USD 1,087,806, according to the report. A review of the Secretariat’s financial standing shows that USD 609,413 of contributions had been collected in current and past unpaid pledges for the Convention’s Trust Fund.

Pledges collected to cover expenditures for 2013 were less than 29 per cent, with just 4 of 16 countries making payments. However, the Trust Fund still had a cash balance of USD 578,919 by 31 December 2013, compared with USD 194,967 for the same period in 2012.