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Integrated Management of the Marine and Coastal Area of Abidjan in Assinie (GIAMAA)

Context

Background

Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa in the Gulf of Guinea. The country has an EEZ of 250 000 km2, and a coastal area extending over 32 960 km2. The agricultural sector is the mainstay of the country’s economy, and the contribution of this sector to national wealth keeps on growing. In 2013, the share of the agricultural sector (including fisheries and forestry) was 29.2%. 90% of the industries are located in the southern zone of the country, as well as the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, which support an intense maritime traffic of various goods and petroleum products. The country’s environment is characterized by a rich biodiversity – recent reports mention a total of 17,343 species found in Côte d’Ivoire. Aquatic ecosystems are home to 4,696 species, including many endangered species such as certain cetaceans (whales and dolphins), manatees and sea turtles. Marine biodiversity is the basis for important economic activities in the country, particularly fisheries: fish production is around 50,000 to 70,000 tons per year (all fisheries combined at sea). The coastal and marine area is an extremely important natural, economic, and cultural heritage for Côte d’Ivoire.

Problem

Natural threats and human activities directly and indirectly impact the health of the coastal and marine environment, and particularly the Abidjan-Assinie coastal area. In order to conserve biological resources, Côte d’Ivoire has set up a network of protected areas on both the continent and in the fluvial environment and lagoons. However, the existing planning processes are too fragmented to promote the sustainable management of the coastal landscape. Unfortunately, it is clear that if current trends continue, marine and coastal zones will lose their ecological potential due to human pressures – urbanization, coastal erosion, unsustainable tourism, oil exploitation –  and due to the harmful effects of climate change.

Proposed Solution

In order to assist its Member States in strengthening the integrated and sustainable management of their coastal and marine areas, the Abidjan Convention is implementing a project aimed at the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and biodiversity. In Côte d’Ivoire, the GIAMAA project is promoting the sustainable use of resources and ensuring the long-term provision of ecosystem services to support economic development and well-being among coastal communities. In order to allocate the marine and coastal space from Abidjan in Assinie to a broad range of economic activities and to avoid conflict of use, the project is implementing operational marine spatial planning.

News from the Project