The Mami Wata capacity building workshop was held in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from 24-27 October 2018.
From 24-27 October 2018, the Mami Wata capacity building workshop on State of the Marine Environment (SoME) reporting and on Ecologically and Biologically Significant marine Areas (EBSA) was held in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Along with Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), SoME reporting and EBSAs are the three tools that the Mami Wata project is currently implementing in the Abidjan Convention region (and specifically in the three pilot project countries, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana) to improve the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and biodiversity, sustainable resource use, and the long-term provision of ecosystem services through supporting the adoption and application of Integrated Ocean Management (IOM) approaches. Indeed, West African countries are in dire need of implementing such approaches to effectively and sustainably manage their marine and coastal resources, and to limit the threats and pressures these face from both human activities and climate change.
In Freetown, the training workshop brought together national Pilot Projects management teams from different technical and institutional departments – technicians, managers, and researchers – with the aim to introduce participants to SoME and EBSAs, as well as to provide them with guidance on data collection and on the key steps they will need to take for the preparation of their country-specific workshops on these tools. Specifically, participants were trained on SoME report elaboration and on EBSAs criteria identification and development.
Following this fruitful workshop, Morten Sorensen, Senior Advisor at GRID-Arendal and trainer during the meeting stressed: “GRID-Arendal has been involved in SoME reporting since 1992. We have been working closely with the Abidjan Convention in this thematic area over the past years. SoME is important for environmental management and for assessing the health of our oceans. We are glad to be here and to help building the capacity of the three pilot countries”.
Paul Lamin from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA, Sierra Leone) added that “the EPA is happy to host the pilot countries and EBSAs and SoME experts, and is looking forward to the coming month, when Sierra Leone will join colleagues from Ghana to provide technical support for their SoME report”.
The workshop was facilitated by the Mami Wata project team, and hosted by the EPA – which is the Mami Wata Centre of Expertise for SoME – with the support of GRID-Arendal and the Abidjan Convention.