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The regional coastal and marine (PRCM) forum wrap up

The Forum gathered experts and high-level representatives across national institutions. 

WACA was part of the 10th Edition of the Regional Coastal and Marine (PRCM) Forum which took place in Saly, Senegal March 29 to April 1, 2022. The Forum gathered experts and high-level representatives across national and inter-state institutions, technical specialists, financing partners and actors from civil society in West Africa.  

Recognized as a convening platform for all actors working in West Africa’s marine and coastal zone, the Forum was the first event after the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 400 people participated, bringing enthusiasm, quality of discussion, experiences, and recommendations on how to best preserve the coast.  

“Improving the health of our oceans requires a rupture with traditional practices,“  Maria Sarraf, Practice Manager, Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy, World Bank  

The Forum was an opportunity for WACA to showcase its interventions and present its results under WACA ResIP 1 and the way ahead under WACA ResIP 2. Here are key take-aways from the sessions: 

Informed decisions and investments are key to coastal sustainability  

The adage "you can't manage what you can't measure" has never been truer. Planning interventions  on the coastline requires solid information about the current and future conditions of the coast as well as emerging issues due to climate changes. WACA has invested in knowledge products that support decision-making and adoption of sound policies. The following were presented:  
 

  • The 2020 State of the Coast Report, jointly developed with the CSE, IUCN and WAEMU takes stock of the West Africa coastline based on environmental and socio-economic indicators and assesses coastal risks. This report mobilized around 92 experts from 46 different institutions and was validated by countries and regional institutions.  
     

  • The Compendium: Coastal Management Practices in West Africa, offers options for managing coastal risk. It presents best fit coastal management practices; assesses risk management techniques; and proposes hard engineering solutions along with nature-based solutions.  It was produced in collaboration with the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and the Africa Center of Excellence for Coastal Resilience (ACECoR) at University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana. 

  • WACA’s work on mangroves, including interventions, research and conservation through remote-sensing monitoring in collaboration with NASA.  

Emerging themes should be considered in building coastal resilience 

Emerging themes related to the development of a sustainable Blue Economy were part of the agenda, pushing decisionmakers to redefine priorities action for coastal sustainability: plastic pollution, eco-tourism development and Marine Spatial Planning  

The WACA program co-hosted a session on eco-tourism development in collaboration with the West Africa Tourism Organization, setting the scene for a regional tourism collaboration group.  

WACA activities on plastic management were presented the plenary session (check video from 4:00:00). About 80% of plastics in West Africa is mismanaged with serious impacts on flooding, disease development and quality of fish, besides the economic cost estimated between $10,000 and $33,000 per year, per ton of plastic. The upcoming eBook on West Africa’s Response to Marine Plastic Pollution will present more findings. 

“The health of the oceans is the guarantee of sustainable development,” Charlotte Karibuhoye, Head of Strategic Alliances & Director, MAVA Foundation. 

Beyond being beneficiaries, coastal communities must be seen as actors of coastal resilience 

The success of coastal resilience projects mainly depends on engaging communities at the earliest stages of activities. Experience has shown that this helps maintain open and direct communication with actors and keep in track of their level of ownership of the projects.  This was well expressed at  a session on Coastal Voices and at the assembly of the Civil Society College gathering over 50 NGOs working on coastal resilience. Similarly, the Call for proposal on innovative solutions for coastal resilience invited the youth to be part of the solutions. Promising initiatives such as the RESILAO Partnership were launched to promote education, entrepreneurship and research while building coastal resilience. The partnership was signed between PRCM and the French Fund for Global Environment (FFEM) for five years. 

Shared vision, coordinated actions and resources are other ingredients of success  

prcm forum wrap

The undertone of the Forum was an emphasis on the issues of sustainability and continuity of marine conservation activities. Financing partners also met with PRCM, the MAVA Foundation and the World Bank to plan coordinated actions and better resources mobilization. The PRCM will join forces with partner organizations to strengthen dialogue and bring synergies across the various programs. It will use an inclusive approach to bridge actions between academia, governments, and civil society. 

prcm forum wrap Signature of RESILAO (PRCM-FFEM): Call for micro-projects and projects incubators (capitalization and scaling-up) – Boost innovation and entreprenership in the region.

prcm forum wrap Winner - "Support to the conversion of mangrove wood harvesters and sellers into beekeeping economic interest groups in the Kapatchez Delta (AMP)" - GUINEA 

prcm forum wrap Session " Coastal voices " 

prcm forum wrap Plenary session  

prcm forum wrap Opening Speech – Maria Sarraf 

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