Regional integration for coastal resilience is showing results
WAEMU Commission organized the seventh meeting of the Regional Steering Committee (CRP).
As part of the implementation of the WACA Program, the WAEMU Commission organized the seventh meeting of the Regional Steering Committee (CRP). The Committee is a strategic body guiding countries’ WACA Resilience Investment Projects (ResIP)and a tool for dialogue between countries and regional institutions.
The objectives of the meeting hosted by Togo were to take stock of progress, approve the work plan for 2022, and present achievements.
“The year 2021 was marked by activities at both regional and national level that strengthen regional integration and harmonize our interventions. 2022 will be, without doubt, the year of concrete achievements.” Kako Nubukpo, Commissioner, Agriculture, Water Resources and Environment, WAEMU.
In 2021, at the national level, all countries have shown tangible results with the construction and / or completion of infrastructure and the deployment of Resettlement Action Plans. For example, in Benin, dikes and protection works to control variations in the flow of the Mono River have protected 3652 households from coastal erosion and flooding; in Mauritania, the rehabilitation of the coastal dunes is protecting the capital of Nouakchott where almost a million people live with the risk of flooding.
On the regional integration side, WAEMU has led the harmonization of policies in coordination with the Abidjan Convention and provided on-demand support to countries.
WAEMU has played a major role in ensuring sustainability, as processes for science, coastal observation and investment are becoming built in to the regional institution’s business procedures. It has enabled countries to federate their efforts, harmonize policies for coastal zone development; and provided countries with targeted and on-demand support.
An important aspect in this role is the preparation of the 2020 State of the Coast Report which tracks trends in 12 West African countries and highlights areas for urgent action. The recommendations will be validated by West African Ministries in charge of environment and coastal resilience and inform national-level decision-making.
“As with countries, regional institutions must also strengthen their collaboration, and especially economic integration institutions such as WAEMU, ECOWAS and ECCAS,” said, Hawa Cisse Wague, Resident Representative for Togo, World Bank. “The synchronization of policy interventions for coastal resilience will be key to the scaling up of the WACA Program, such as through WACA ResIP 2, which expands the geographic reach and connects bordering countries.”
The start-up of WACA ResIP 2 with the accession of The Gambia, Ghana and Guinea-Bissau will be a highlight in 2022. The preparation was welcome by the WACA Regional Steering Committee. Parallel finance is possible and desired to cover additional coastal areas in these countries (interested financiers can contact Peter Kristensen).
In ResIP 2, the mobilization of all stakeholders and the articulation of regional institutions’ interventions will be key elements. IUCN, the Abidjan Convention, the Partnership for Marine and Coastal Conservation (PRCM) and the Network of Marine Protected Areas in West Africa (RAMPAO) will be mobilized with WACA to further support countries quest for coastal resilience and sustainability.
The year 2022 will be also marked by the development of the Regional Strategic Action Plan for coastal resilience Investments (PARSI), the Regional Innovative Financing Strategy, and strengthening regional legal and institutional framework for the management of coastal and marine areas.
Wague reminded leaders that there are benefits in mobilizing citizen’s engagement to improve coastal resilience. Organized communities have a wealth of knowledge based on their experiences. Together, they can set priorities, influence government policies and design suitable solutions.