West Africa’s coastal areas are home to 31% of West Africa’s population and represent 56% of West Africa’s GDP. This is where the major industries, including agro-industry, fisheries, offshore petroleum exploration and production, and tourism, as well as city and seaside residences are located.
Poor choices about the location of infrastructure, limited environmental governance, and human-induced pollution, coupled with population pressures and overexploitation of coastal natural resources, have led to rapid degradation of coastal ecosystems which implies coastal erosion and flooding, depletion of fisheries, and disease. Climate change is also expected to exacerbate the environmental stresses along the coast.
Every year, 500,000 people are impacted by coastal floods in West Africa. In some areas, the coastline is losing up to 30 meters every year.
Interventions are needed at all levels of government and society to decrease the vulnerability of the poorest in coastal West Africa.
The West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program (WACA) is regional partnership that aims to assist West African countries to sustainably manage their coastal areas and enhance socio-economic resilience to the effects of climate change. The program, initiated by the World Bank, seeks to facilitate access to technical expertise, key information and financial resources for participating countries.
CAD participated in the regional workshop in Abidjan as responsible of the stakeholder engagement strategy of WACA. This collaboration implies the elaboration of a series of knowledge products (fact sheets on specific topics, case studies of global best practices) and elaborating a Communication and Awareness Action Plan which final aim is to find ways to engage key actors (e.g. national decision makers such as key ministries, key economic sectors such as tourism, fishing, or local communities) in fighting coastal erosion and promoting sustainable management of coastal areas.