Wetlands International Africa (WIA) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), on 27th November 2013 in Dakar, jointly held a side event on the theme ''Taking Steps to Establish a Training Course on Mangrove Ecosystems for the West Africa Region''. It was in margin of the Regional Coastal and Marine Forum held in the Senegalese capital from 25th to 29th November at Hotel Méridien King Fahd Palace former President.
After signing the Banjul 2012 Regional Charter on mangroves by 6 West African countries, another important step has been taken in its implementation process. Organizations such as Wetlands International Africa (WIA) and IUCN, together with various stakeholders in the sub-region, conducted a side-event on the issue of implementing the Regional Charter on mangroves.
"The purpose is to apply the process for securing the Charter on the Abidjan Protocol," said Richard Dacosta, Project manager WIA. The process is ongoing. His colleague from IUCN, Mathieu Ducroq, explained that a new project in line with the Mangrove Initiative in West Africa is in being conceived to best "preserve mangroves in the Atlantic coastline".
Various speakers during the event highlighted the efforts and achievements in the rehabilitation of mangrove areas. According to statistics, mangrove areas have lessened from 3 million hectares in 1980, to 797,000 hectares in 2006 within the PRCM covered area. The consequences are enormous. Hence the moderator of the debate, Dr Abou Bamba to laments that "It is difficult to understand that in Africa, people who live near the sea are in poverty."
Ultimately, the objective of the organizers of the side event is to improve scientific information on mangroves, their evolution and implement an updated mapping of mangroves along the Atlantic seaboard.
This event was included in the agenda of the 7th Forum of the Regional Partnership for the Conservation of Coastal and Marine in West Africa (PRCM) held in Dakar from 25th to 29th November.
Pape Diomaye THIARE
Communications and Media Coordinator
Wetlands International Africa
Phone: +221 33 869 16 81