Blog | 2021-10-22 Marseille, France

WACA Goes Hybrid at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille

This year’s edition attracted over 9,000 participants and drew significant political attention.

Held every four years, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Congress brings together actors to collaborate on how to conserve the environment and harness nature-based solutions to global challenges. This year’s edition attracted over 9,000 participants and drew significant political attention, in advance of the Climate Change and Biodiversity Conference of Parties (COPs). It highlighted the biodiversity and climate change collapses as the dual existential crises the planet is facing and closed with  28 resolutions adopted.

During the Congress, the stand CALAO, gathering West African partners working on coastal resilience, hosted a series of hybrid events , with September 5 dedicated to WACA.  A series of events on investments and knowledge lead by IUCN, helped connect WACA partners to stakeholders:

Investing Greener. A WACA ResIP panel composed of speakers from the World Bank, the MAVA Foundation, the Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE), the Partenariat Régional pour la Conservation de la Zone Côtière et Marine en Afrique de l’Ouest (PRCM) and the Réseau Régional d’Aires Marines Protégées en Afrique de l’Ouest (RAMPAO), reviewed the impact of ongoing investments. The session highlighted the necessity to adopt a multi-dimensional approach for coastal resilience. This should promote : natural-based solutions, human and institutional resources and long-term planning.

Lately, there has been an increased interest in investing in greener, hybrid solutions, in harmony with nature’s cycle. This goes hand in hand with strategic planning for education, capacity development, and partnerships. The WACA program is a partner of choice with the capacity to be a convening power, catalyze the transformation of livelihoods at both national and regional levels, and promote cross-border dialogue.

WACA Hubs as Corridors for knowledge. Through the WACA platform, scaling up and disseminating positive impacts across the region and beyond is a necessity. WACA Knowledge Hubs create knowledge corridors with best practices for coastal resilience. These hubs are brought by experts from countries such as France, Holland, Japan and the Nordics.

The Dutch WACA Hub emphasized its role in building countries’ capacities and competences in coastal engineering, nature-based solutions, partnerships and plastics.

The Nordic WACA Hub positioned itself as a committed partner in West Africa who can help reduce transaction costs in accessing expertise, knowledge and advisory services that can shape future solutions.

The Compendium for Coastal Management Practices in West Africa, identifying best fit coastal management practices was pre-launched by the Institut de Recherche et de Développement (IRD) . The report presents coastal erosion and climatic conditions, catalogues hard and soft engineering approaches, and recommends coastal planning and risk management techniques adapted to West Africa.

WACA Knowledge and Innovation at Countries’ Services. The session featured the three winners of the WACA Call for Innovation (C4I). The 2020 C4I edition jumpstarted innovative solutions to coastal degradation associated to commercial ports. The three finalists selected by a jury of experts, WAC-app, Trans-Sand and SA-POD, are now finalizing road maps to make their ideas a reality – for more, visit the Call 4 Innovation Ebook featuring the innovations.


Date: 2021-10-22
Location: Marseille, France


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