Ocean Governance:
Challenges and Prospects for Sustainable Development in Africa

The Abidjan Convention launches its webinar series against plastic pollution

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The Abidjan Convention through the ACP MEAs III programme organized from January 23 to 27 a field mission in Benin, one of the project implementing countries. The purpose of the mission was to   identify the needs for the elaboration of a management plan for a selected MPA, discuss challenges and possible solutions.

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COP13 of the Abidjan Convention set for December 13, 2021 in Pointe Noire-Congo

The third meeting of the Bureau of the COP12 of the Abidjan Convention decided that the 13th COP will be held from 13 to 17 December 2021 in Pointe Noire still under the theme "Ocean governance for sustainable development of the countries of the Abidjan Convention".

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Abidjan Convention supports a global treaty against plastic pollution

Support efforts to adopt a global legally binding treaty against plastic pollution, present an initiative in the sub-region at the next session of the United Nations Environment Assembly scheduled for February in Nairobi. These are the decisions taken by the third meeting of the Bureau of the Abidjan Convention cop12

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Abidjan Convention Secretariat

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 (Abidjan Convention in short), covers a marine area from Mauritania to South Africa which has a coastline of just over 14,000 km. It provides an overarching legal framework for all marine-related programmes in West, Central and Southern Africa.

The Convention’s secretariat states its mission as to “Protect, Conserve and Develop the Abidjan Convention Area and its Resources for the Benefit and Well-being of its People.” This is a task that the secretariat is determined to fulfill.

Countries in the Abidjan Convention area

Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Sao Tome e Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Togo.
22 countries 19 parties 1 convention

Under its articles, the Convention lists the sources of pollution that require control as: ships, dumping, land-based activities, exploration and exploitation of the seabed, and atmospheric pollution. It also identifies environmental management issues from which cooperative efforts are meadows, wetlands, barriers and lagoons. These highly productive and diverse ecosystems support fisheries, coastal tourism, industries, minerals such as limestone and sand, busy ports and oil extraction. However, the region’s rapid modernization has led to the unsustainable use of natural resources and to extensive pollution. As a result, crucial habitats are disappearing.

Acknowledging the uniqueness of the coastal and marine environment of the region, as well as its economic and technical limitations decades ago, the countries recognized the need for a regional approach to meet transboundary marine environmental challenges. Thus, after an exploratory environmental assessment mission to 14 regional states in 1976, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recommended the development of an Action Plan. The Plan is designed to link assessment of the quality of the marine environment and the causes of its deterioration with activities for the management and development of the marine and coastal environment of West, Central and, later, Southern Africa. The Plan was adopted by 11 countries at a conference in Abidjan, March 1981 and came into force on 5 August 1984, after the sixth country deposited its instrument of ratification.

Adoption of the West and Central African regional legal agreements was facilitated by numerous technical surveys, studies and reviews prepared by UNEP with cooperation of the United Nations Organization; the United Nations Industrial Development Organization; the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission; the World Health Organization; the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization; and other organizations.

Adoption of a Regional Contingency Plans and other Means of Preventing and Combatting Pollution Incidents (2011) - Additional Protocol to the Abidjan Convention Concerning Cooperation in the Protection and Development of Marine and Coastal Environment from Land-based Sources and Activities in the Western, Central and Southern African Region (the LSBA Protocol - 2012) - The Ad Hoc Committee on Science and Technology (created 2014) - Regional Coordination Centre for Marine Pollution Emergency of the Abidjan Convention.

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