PRCM is pleased to present its 2016 annual report which traces the experiences it conducted and the challenges it has faced together with its members andpartners. We hope that these initiatives will be a good source of inspiration for other organizations working in the West African coastal zone and elsewhere

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The government of Guinea Bissau has established new protected areas, including the Dulombi-Boe-Tchétché complex that consists of two national parks and three ecological corridors. So far, the investment priorities of the country in the area of conservation related to the creation of protected areas along the coastal and island area (the Bijagos Archipelago) covering almost 15% of the national territory.

In order to protect a more complete and representative sample of key habitats, efforts made in recent years consisted in developing the national parks of Boé and Dulombi on the country’s mainland, close to the border with Senegal and Guinea.

These parks now offer protection for a remarkable biodiversity such as lions, panthers, chimpanzees or elephants. Comprising of a Ramsar site, called Wendu Tcham, that is home to major waterbird populations, in addition to three (3) wildlife corridors, the Boé National Park ensures connectivity between the two parks and with the Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park and the Cantanhez National Park. The national protected areas system now covers 26.3% of the national territory, representing 12.4% of marine protected areas and 13.9% of terrestrial protected areas, which is by and large compliant with the Aichi Targets.

IBAP has been working in close collaboration with many partners to manage these areas, including the Fondation BioGuinée, now at the capitalisation stage, which will provide an essential sustainable funding tool for the proper management of protected areas.

The World Wetlands Day that was organised in Guinea Bissau by the Coastal Planning Department in collaboration with the Institute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas (IBAP), the Wetlands Protection Organisation, the Monte-Ace NGO and the Municipality of Bissau provided an opportunity to celebrate the restoration of “La lagoa de N’Batonha”, a wetland in the heart of the capital city. Until it was restored, this lake served as a site where people used to dispose of their waste and refuse, with all sanitary risks involved.

On the initiative of the MONTE-ACE NGO and with funding from the European Union and Instituto Camões, the Municipality of Bissau decided to re-establish a recreational and natural area for its inhabitants. “La lagoa de N’Batonha” will also provide all the services usually provided by wetlands, including protection from floods, filtration of pollutants and groundwater recharge. The project was also designed to serve as a hotspot of environmental education for schools in the capital city, including through the creation of an interpretation centre on wetlands.

This example of partnership with the Municipality of Bissau in the service of citizens and nature was welcomed on the occasion of the celebration of the World Wetlands Day where a number of leading figures made a statement, including the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Minister of Territorial Administration, the Director General of the Institute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas, the Representative of IUCN, the Delegate of the European Union as well as the Coordinator of the MONTE-ACE NGO.

Central to these statements was the need to find an alternative to the construction of a thermal power plant within the boundaries of the Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park, an internationally significant wetland listed as a Ramsar site. The celebration took place near Lagoa de N’Batonha in a festive musical and theatrical atmosphere entertained by the Netos de Bandim band. Let’s applaud this initiative that gives back wetlands their rightful place in the heart of the city for the good of the general public and the education of the youth!

Members of PRCM Regional Steering Committee met in January in Dakar. On the agenda for discussions were the institutional reorganisation and the legal status of the Partnership.

It was agreed that PRCM’s niche should be confined to three key mandates:

  • representing stakeholders of coastal and marine conservation (CMC) at the regional level and defending CMC interests;
  • federating CMC initiatives and stakeholders and mobilizing resources; and
  • networking and capitalizing on experiences.

With regard to PRCM structure, the Steering Committee would pursue the option of promoting a selective and categorized membership in the form of a coalition.

On the legal status, the Committee agreed to endow PRCM with the status of a foreign association while preserving the modalities pertaining to IUCN’s administrative and financial support. Such a status will enable PRCM to directly access funding and request accreditation with international organisations.


The marketing and use of conventional plastic bags in Cabo Verde are now banned under Act of 1st January 2017. This is the culmination of a struggle carried out by the Association for Environmental Protection and Development (ADAD) within the framework of the “Cabo Verde without plastic bags” drive in partnership with MAVA and PRCM.

In this endeavour, ADAD received support from other partners, such as the Ministries of Environment, Housing, Spatial Development and Tourism, Industry and Entrepreneurship Development, as well as the Network of Parliamentarians for Environmental Protection, Municipalities, industrial manufacturers, etc. Under the new Act, economic actors who continue selling and using plastic bags may face sanctions, with fines ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 thousand Escudos for physical entities and from 250,000 to 800,000 thousand Escudos for businesses.

ADAD launched the project with the aim of sensitising policy-makers and citizens over the plastic bag plague which pollutes the seas and small islands and causes damages to cities, with the congestion of sanitation networks and canals, thereby causing floods in urban areas and the development of malaria-carrying insects. In the face of the proliferation of plastic bags in cities, local governments and the sea, due to their improper use, the Ministry of Environment carried out a study whose findings showed that plastic bags accounted for 11% of solid waste.

As a member of PRCM, BiodiverCites, a Mauritania-based NGO, implemented an awareness-raising project entitled « Climate at home! », a replication of Collectif en Haut’s participatory initiative that promoted aerial and ground photography. 20 pupils from Nouakchott were selected by the NGO to try and explain, through the photographs, their perception of climate changes, its effects and consequences on the environment as well as the adaptation measures in place.

This project engaged young people in the development and implementation of awareness-raising campaigns within their schools and social circles. The objective was to trigger in them the behavioural change required for adaptation. The pupils learned how to build a common vision of local climate change issues and became more familiar with their communities, including through encounters with community stakeholders.

The photograph exhibition and the regularly updated Facebook page provide participants with means to continue sharing their work and raise awareness, in their own fashion, about climate change challenges. Moreover, the project enabled nine schools from Nouakchott to embrace environmental education.

The Regional Partnership for coastal and marine conservation in West Africa (PRCM) has established, for relevant stakeholders, a regional platform of discussions and experience sharing on issues pertaining to the conservation and sustainable management of marine and coastal resources, i.e. the Regional Coastal and Marine Forum.

The 9th edition of the Forum will take place in Conakry, Guinea, from 23 to 27 October 2017 around the theme “Let’s invest in coastal resilience for a prosperous future in West Africa”. Please book the dates in your agenda. The programme and the registration process will be communicated in due time.

A body of legislations, regulations, policies and strategies has been developed in Senegal, specifically for marine and coastal areas. There was a need, however, to link them together in an organised manner, in view of their high number and often complex language.

Such is the unlikely challenge that the authors of this book decided to take on. Lawmakers, decision-makers, administrators or representatives of the civil society now have at their disposal an exhaustive knowledge that will help them become more familiar with legal language and commit themselves more efficiently to their responsibilities towards the coastal and marine area.

With such an invaluable tool, coastal countries in the sub-region will quickly realise its usefulness and will, hopefully, be tempted to take after these examples by putting together similar books for their own benefit.

The thirteen session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 13) took place in Cancun, Mexico from 4 to 17 December 2016. This was an opportunity for delegates to exchange views on various issues related to biodiversity conservation and approve several recommendations dealing with matters in connection with coastal and marine biodiversity, resource mobilisation, synthetic biology and capacity building.

In collaboration with the Francophonie and Sustainable Development Institute (IFDD), PRCM organised a side event that gathered several participants from different backgrounds. Speakers highlighted progress achieved in their respective countries and key challenges to the fulfilment of the Aichi Targets by 2020. Participants all welcomed the meeting and called for a strengthened partnership between governments for biodiversity conservation in the sub-region.

Moreover, delegates from West Africa participated in all the negotiations and took relevant views within major African groups. Key issues discussed were the conservation of marine and coastal resources, the integration of biodiversity in several sectoral areas, capacity building and engagement strategies for the achievement of the Aichi Targets by 2020. Participants benefited from PRCM’s support in their negotiation efforts.

Cp: PRCM/Hellio Van ingen

20 students from 12 sub-Saharan African countries (Burkina Faso, Benin, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinee, Senegal and Togo), Madagascar and Haiti are currently completing their second year, to run until June 2017, of a Master’s programme at Senghor University of Alexandria, through the specialised course on protected areas management developed by IUCN-Papaco together with Senghor University. Five of them benefit from a scholarship from MAVA Foundation.