Identification of a new Ecologically and Biologically Significant marine Area as part of the implementation process of the Integrated Management of the Marine and Coastal Area from Abidjan to Assinie project
Côte d’Ivoire will soon have its report on the identification and description of Ecologically and Biologically Significant marine Areas at the mouth of the ABY lagoon.
On Thursday 11 June 2020, the pre-validation workshop of the identification and description report of the Ecologically and Biologically Significant marine Areas (EBSAs) at the mouth of the ABY lagoon, located in the Assinie area (Côte d’Ivoire), was held at the conference room of the Ivorian Anti-Pollution Centre in Abidjan. Organized by the coordination team of the Integrated Management of the Marine and Coastal Area of Abidjan to Assinie (GIAMAA) project, this workshop aimed at validating the first draft of the aforementioned report. This document drafted by experts from the field and part of the Ivorian Association of Agronomic Sciences (AISA), was presented to the members of the Scientific Committee and to the GIAMAA project coordination team for pre-validation, before being submitted for review to the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat in the coming weeks. The task of the members of the Scientific Committee led by Professor Éric Djagoua was to review the entire report in order to make final corrections and recommendations for its validation.
The opening ceremony was led by Professor Ossey Bernard Yapo, Deputy Director of the Central Environmental Laboratory, representing Colonel Martin Niagne Dibi, Director of CIAPOL. In his speech, Professor Yapo welcomed the presence of the members of the Scientific Committee and the President of AISA at this workshop, and recalled the objective of the project, which is to lay the foundations of a sustainable ocean management policy through the implementation of three integrated ocean management tools: State of the Marine Environment reporting, the identification of EBSAs, and Marine Spatial Planning. Professor Yapo then cited the different successful stages of the project since its launch, through the setting up of the Scientific Committee, to the present pre-validation workshop of the EBSA report. At the end of his speech, he declared: “I hope that this work will take place in a very good atmosphere, at the end of which a quality scientific document will be produced”.
Also, before starting to work on the report, Ms. Marguerite Kouadio, GIAMAA Project Coordinator, presented the background of the project, recalling its objectives and components, the progress of the various activities, and an indicative schedule of the next ones to be carried out. Ms. Kouadio presented the context of this workshop. She also recalled that the experts were trained during a training workshop on the process of identification and description of EBSAs, which took place in Bonoua from 9 to 11 October 2019, and during which a Scientific Committee had been set up. “This workshop which deals with the validation of the first draft of the report on the identification and description of Ecologically and Biologically Significant marine Areas from Abidjan to Assinie is a logical continuation of all previously undertaken actions”, she said.
After a number of corrections and modifications to the substance and form of the report, participants suggested that the validation be done after all comments had been taken into account. To this end, some recommendations were made to the scientific secretariat of the GIAMAA project:
- To collect all the observations of each member of the Scientific Committee and transmit them to the President of the IASA for correction;
- To transmit a new version of the report with the observations of the participants in the Scientific Committee for its final pre-validation, it being understood that it will be up to the CBD secretariat to validate the final document.
The date of the next EBSA workshop for Côte d’Ivoire will be fixed shortly, yet subject to the evolution of mitigation measures for the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.