WEST AFRICA – The French Global Environment Facility (FGEF) will allocate nearly US$2.86 million to fund community-based marine and coastal ecosystem resilience projects in six West African countries.
The announcement was made at the 10th West African Coastal and Marine Regional Forum, 29 March to 1 April 2022 in Saly Portudal, western Senegal.
The FGEF’s new funding materialized by a funding agreement signed with the Regional Partnership for Coastal and Marine Conservation (PRCM) on the sidelines of the opening of the forum.
The PRCM is the organizing body of the Regional Coastal and Marine Forum of West African Coastal Countries.
It is a platform that brings together around 90 partners, all of whom are committed to preserving the sea and the coastline.
The funding will be provided over the next five years, to finance not less than 40 marine and coastal ecosystem and community resilience projects in Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Cabo Verde, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau.
“We expect solutions to improve coastal defense, against coastal erosion, changes in the coastline that affect people, their habitats, and their activities,” says Stéphanie Bouzigues Eschamann, the FGEF’s Secretary-General.
Tropical countries, such as those in West Africa, are particularly vulnerable to the degradation of marine and coastal ecosystems.
Researchers have shown that about 80% of the economies of these countries are based on the coastal strip, where the population is growing, especially in large deep-water ports.
This infrastructure makes these areas particularly vulnerable to depletion of fisheries resources, pollution, flooding, and coastal erosion.
In Cotonou, Benin, for example, the retreat of the coastline can reach up to ten meters per year in some urban areas.
The support by FGEF its partners aims to reduce the area polluted either through human activities or natural causes and to conserve more region.
The PRCM mission includes supporting, through its network of partners, the coordination of the different interventions active at regional, national, and local levels to strengthen the processes of conservation and integrated management of the coastal zone.