Capacity Development for Enhanced Marine Management in West Africa (Mami Wata Project)
As of: November 2019
Objective and activities
The African Atlantic coast has a combined exclusive economic zone approximately 4.8 million km2 in size. Despite its immense biodiversity, West African marine and coastal ecosystems remain under significant pressure from overfishing, hydrocarbon exploitation, pollution and coastal development. The project aims to improve integrated marine management approaches in the countries of the Abidjan Convention by: conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and biodiversity, sustainable resource use and long-term provision of ecosystem services. The member states will be supported with the management of "Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas" (EBSAs). Further support will be applied for the "Marine Spatial Planning" (MSP) for conservation and ecosystem service-based sustainable development and for "State of Marine Environment Reporting" (SoME) for improved management response.
State of implementation/results
The Mami Wata pilot projects (Benin, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana) have undertaken fundamental steps to implement their work plans on CBD Ecologically or Biologically Significant marine Areas (EBSAs), State of the Marine Environmental Reports (SoME) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). These include data collection and review, stakeholder consultations and the establishment of working groups. Workshops and first results are planned for the second quarter of 2019.
- In Côte D’Ivoire, the “Gestion intégrée de l’aire marine et côtière d’Abidjan à Assinie” project is jointly implemented with the Centre Ivoirien Antipollution (CIAPOL), which is part of the Ministère de l’Environment et du Développement Durable. It covers 80 km of the coastline. A formal project inception workshop will be organised in Quarter 1 of 2019, and key actors will be identified and invited.
- In Ghana, the Environmental Protection Agency is leading the “Ecosystem Based Approach to an Integrated Marine and Coastal Environment Management in Ghana” project in the Western Region of the country, with a coastline of approximately 200 km. The project had a formal inception workshop at the EPA’s offices on 19th August 2018.
- On 7th September, 2018 the Benin Pilot Project was launched as the “GIZMaC (Gestion Intégrée de la Zone Marine et Côtière du Bénin)”. The project covers the country’s whole coastline of approximately 125 km.
- The cross-border cooperation plan between Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, to protect the approximately 250 km long coast between Abidjan and Sekondi-Takoradi was further elaborated between the parties. The area includes the seas out to 24 nautical miles, as well as the Assoindé and Aby Lagoons. The main topics will be the economically significant joint Sardinella stock, and pollution, in particular of Aby Lagoon. The cooperation will take place within the framework of the existing joint permanent Commission for Cooperation.
- The project has continued the work on a regional policy for Integrated Ocean Management, mandated by the 12th COP of the Abidjan Convention (ABC), through a formal ABC expert meeting. The IOM policy will be adopted at the 13th COP in early 2020.
- From 5th to 9th March 2018, the Mami Wata partners and the Benguela Current Convention organized an English language Marine Spatial Planning training in Swakopmund (Namibia) for participants from West, Central and Southern Africa, following a similar workshop for French-speaking participants in the end of 2017.
- The Mami Wata Project was presented at the first-ever African Blue Economy event was held in London, UK, 7th to 8th June.
- As the only Spanish speaking country in the region, Equatorial Guinea was supported to hold a national Marine Spatial Planning training workshop in Spanish, from 20th to 24th August. The event was led by the Wildlife Conservation Society, with further support from the Blue Solutions Project.
- At the Sierra Leone Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Mami Wata experts and colleagues from the EPA and the Centre de Suivi Ecologique came together for a ‘train-the-trainers’ workshop from 22nd to 25th October. The meeting strengthened regional experts’ capacity to share their knowledge in the with colleagues and other countries and institutes, and provide long-term support on EBSA and SoME.
- At the CBD COP 14 in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, the project was presented at the Marine Biodiversity - creating & exchanging solutions for our Blue World event organised by BMU on 18th December. During the Sustainable Blue Economy conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Mami Wata was part of two Side Events on Blue Economy in the Abidjan Convention Region.