Additional protocols ratification: parliamentarians and local councillors sensitized by the Abidjan Convention Secretariat
The Abidjan Convention Secretariat standing outside with parliamentarians and local elected.
The Abidjan Convention Secretariat organized a regional workshop in Dakar, Senegal, from September 5 to 7, 2023, to raise awareness on the Abidjan Convention's additional protocols among parliamentarians and local elected representatives. This initiative was supported by the World Bank through WACA ResIP and the European Union.
The main objective of the workshop was to promote the ratification of the four additional protocols to the Abidjan Convention, and to create an alliance called APELCA bringing together parliamentarians and local elected representatives. This alliance will serve as a platform for dialogue and exchange of experience on the governance of the marine and coastal environment, mobilizing parliamentarians to support the ratification of the additional protocols by signatory countries to the Convention. In addition, it aims to strengthen the skills of parliamentarians and local elected representatives to better integrate environmental issues into discussions within the region's parliaments and local authorities.
The Abidjan Convention plays a major role in preserving marine and coastal biodiversity along Africa's Atlantic coast, but the success of its actions depends on close collaboration between experts in the field and local communities, who are the main beneficiaries.
The Abidjan Convention's program coordinator, Dr Diagana, emphasized the important role of parliamentarians as the voice of the people, and expressed the desire to create a united Atlantic Africa for the well-being of its citizens.
To strengthen the alliance of parliamentarians and promote cooperation between States in the protection of marine and coastal biodiversity, representatives of national parliaments, such as the Honorable Ibrahima Baba SALL of Senegal, encouraged their peers to advocate full ratification of the Abidjan Convention texts by States. In addition, the Honorable Alpha Amadu BAH of Sierra Leone advocated the payment of annual dues by countries, thus guaranteeing the Convention's autonomy to better manage the West African coastline in the interests of local populations.
In conclusion, Barthelemy BATIENO, coordinator of the WACA ResIP component of the Abidjan Convention, presented the recommendations adopted by parliamentarians and local elected representatives. These included the re-launch of a regional platform for collaboration with parliamentarians and local elected representatives, a call to all contracting parties to implement APELCA, and a program of support for APELCA initiatives, including capacity-building for parliamentarians to enhance their involvement in coastal and marine governance. They also pledged to inform and support the Abidjan Convention Focal Points in advancing the ratification processes of the additional protocols and the payment of dues to the Convention's Trust Fund in their respective countries.