As part of the 11th meeting, in Cape Town, South Africa, of the Conference of the Parties to the Abidjan Convention on cooperation for the protection, management and enhancement of the marine environment and coastal areas of the Atlantic Coast in the region of West Africa, Central and, South Africa, Wetlands International Africa and IUCN Senegal regional Office have, on March 19th 2014, jointly organized a side event on the transformation process of the Charter for a sustainable management of mangroves to additional Protocol to the Abidjan Convention Protocol.
“Process of transforming the Charter on the sustainable management of mangroves to an Additional Protocol to the Abidjan Convention” was the theme of the Side Event organized by Wetlands International Africa and IUCN Senegal on March 19th, 2014 in the South African city of Cape Town before of a remarkable audience.
After rich discussions, all agreed on the urgent need to transform the mangrove Charter into an additional protocol to the Abidjan Convention which is a relevant and innovative process. However, this requires the commitment and support of Member States to the Convention, especially those non-signatories of the Charter (GCLME and BCLME).
Several recommendations were made with regard to taking into account the study on the economic value of mangroves CCLME (Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem). This is to strengthen the arguments on the multiple interests of the forest ecosystem and to share the results of the Demo project # 5 partners with other LME during meetings of the African caucus. There is also need to involve the Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) of the Abidjan Convention in the process of validation and technical implementation of the methodology. The same goes for economic communities and other conventions, the likes of Nairobi, in the process of implementation for the transformation of a mangrove Charter as an additional Protocol to the Abidjan Convention.
In addition, There is need to encourage the support and participation of the various stakeholders, while taking into account their needs in the process of transformation of the charter into an Additional Protocol as well as adopt a large marine current (LME) based approach to better reflect the diversity of uses and perceptions of mangrove ecosystems.
Richard DACOSTA of Wetlands International Africa (WIA) and El Hadji Ballé Seye of IUCN Senegal, who led this Side Event, explained the evolution of mangroves in the CCLME and GCLME illustrating the recovery and rehabilitation of mangrove ecosystems in The Gambia and Guinea Bissau. They also emphasized the need for an additional Protocol to the Abidjan Convention and indicated the steps guiding the roadmap for the transformation of the mangrove Charter.
They also informed partners on the proposed methodological approach for the addition of the mangrove Charter Protocol to the Abidjan Convention. They further spoke on the process of appropriation and porting by the Member States and seek the views of experts who have interest in the process.
Funding prospects for the coming years
As an evidence of the positive impact of this Side Event, “Mangrove For the Future” says it will be available to support the activities of mangrove along the Atlantic coast as part of the Abidjan Convention. Among other interesting perspectives, UNEP is in discussions with the GEF to fund a program in GCLME. Discussions for funding mangroves activities in the CCLME area will actually start around 2015, which falls at the end of Phase 1.
It should be noted that this important event was witnessed by representatives of UNEP, CCLME, IUCN, WIA CCLME, PRCM, SRFC, as well as delegates of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Gabon, Guinea and Senegal.