Dialogue & Engagement
Dialogue and engagement are essential ingredients to advance knowledge and mobilize finance to address these challenges at a regional scale. Sustained dialogue and meaningful engagement bring parties together and creates a jointly-owned sense of commitment and accountability. Gradually, the Platform hopes to foster and expand on these commitments to coastal resilience and regional integration and maximize the financial means available for development.
Countries, via the 2018 WACA Country Communique provided the authorizing environment to pursue three critical streams of work for WACA. First, regional integration by working via regional economic commissions (WAEMU and ECOWAS, the Abidjan Convention and its protocols, and the pursuit of a regional observatory for coastal resilience continuing the work by the Centre de Suivi Ecologique. Second, national scale-up through expanding on the WACA Multi-Sector Investment Plans. Third, mobilizing financial resources from partners in support of new WACA projects or in complement to existing WACA projects for strengthened coastal resilience.
In a similar way, the 2019 Private Sector Communique provided the confirmation of the commitment of industry stakeholders from transport, mining, energy, fisheries to pursue deeper engagement and establish ways to facilitate access to information and identification of projects of interest to the private sector.
WACA LACE, the Local Action and Citizen Engagement (LACE) is about supporting a pro-poor, people-centered approach to promoting sustainable, inclusive and resilient development in the West African coast. LACE aims to improve the development outcomes of WACA by helping to manage the social dimensions of risk and by engaging citizens and communities in coastal resilience activities. The initiative promotes socially inclusive approaches to coastal risk management and resilience building with a specific focus on gender and women’s empowerment.
The WACA Forum is at the center of the dialogue and engagement. It ensures inclusiveness and transparency and is convened once a year, hosted by one of the WACA countries. The Forum provides a space for a joint discussion of topics pertaining to knowledge and finance, and takes up special themes (e.g., ports or coastal observation) as they relate to coastal resilience to explore and address bottlenecks or opportunities for that specific theme. In the interest of pooling resources, the event will be coupled with ongoing activities and meetings the countries and partners are already engaged in, and will aim to expand access and lighten its footprint by facilitating virtual participation wherever possible.