For us and future generations
Abidjan Convention Secretariat
Provides an overarching legal framework for all marine related programmes in West, Central and Southern Africa

The Abidjan Convention launches its webinar series against plastic pollution

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Developing Best Practice Action Plans for Management of Plastic Waste in Africa

Wonderful news: this important webinar series to assist countries in the Abidjan Convention, and elsewhere in Africa, is to be launched on Tuesday 02 March 2021 at 13h00 GMT by:
Mr Abou Bamba, of the UNEP Abidjan Convention Secretariat.

This is truly auspicious as the Abidjan Convention Secretariat is determined to see dramatic improvement in waste management in Africa and believes that the Action Plans are essential to guide progress.

Mr Bamba is the Executive Secretary of the UNEP-Administered Convention for Cooperation in the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Atlantic Coast of West, Central and Southern African Region (Abidjan Convention, 1981), which brings together 22 African coastal countries. He was a consultant for the Ford Foundation in New York; Chemonics International, Inc. Washington DC; and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Ottawa, Canada). He has published several studies on environmental issues in Africa. He has received several academic awards and honours. These include the Excellency Award of the University of Quebec, the Excellency Award of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Government of Quebec, the Bourse de la Francophonie and a Hewlett Packard grant.

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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

countries in the 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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