West and Central Africa



Abidjan Convention
With the Convention for Co-operation in the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central African Region (Abidjan Convention), adopted in 1981 and in force 1984, the Contracting Parties agree to take all appropriate measures to prevent, reduce, combat and control pollution of the Convention area and to ensure sound environmental management of natural resources using for this purpose the best practicable means at their disposal, and in accordance with their capabilities. There is one protocol to the Convention: Protocol concerning cooperation in combating pollution in cases of emergency, adopted in 1981 and in force in 1984. • A Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) for the Convention has been established, and is located in Abidjan.

GEF International Waters Projects
Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem Programme The Benguela Current is situated off the west coast of southern Africa encompassing one of the four eastern boundary upwelling systems in the world. It's high level of primary productivity supports an important global reservoir of biodiversity and biomass of fish, crustaceans, sea birds and marine mammals. The near shore and shelf sediments hold rich deposits of diamonds, phosphorite and diatomite, as well as reserves of oil and natural gas.

The Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) Programme is a multinational cross-sectoral initiative by Angola, Namibia and South Africa to manage the living marine resources of the Benguela Current LME in an integrated and sustainable manner and to protect the marine environment. It is funded by GEF (International Waters) and is implemented by UNDP. The three member countries provide further financial and in-kind contributions. The Programme focuses on a number of key sectors, including fisheries, environmental variability, seabed mining, oil and gas exploration and production, coastal zone management, ecosystem health, socio-economics and governance. The Programme is to run for five years (from 2002 to 2006). It will mainly address transboundary issues in three key areas of activity; the sustainable management and utilisation of living resources; the assessment of environmental variability, ecosystem impacts and improvement of predictability; and maintenance of ecosystem health and management of pollution.

Development and Protection of the Coastal and Marine Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa: The goal of the project is to assist sub-Saharan African countries in achieving sustainable management of their coastal and marine environment and resources. Specifically, the project will
  • identify areas, sites or living resources of regional and global significance that are suffering measurable degradation;
  • determine the sources/causes of this degradation and the associated scales of impact (national, regional and global);
  • identify areas, sites and resources of regional significance that, although not currently degraded, are threatened with future degradation;
  • determine, through root-cause analysis, the fundamental causes of damage or threat posed; and
  • design a program of interventions addressing problems of regional priority.

Gulf of Guinea Large Marine Ecosystem Project
The Gulf of Guinea Large Marine Ecosystem Project is based on the LME concept of marine environmental and resource management. The concept is predicated on the fact that marine pollution and living marine resources respect no political boundaries and new geographical ones and, in effect, require a large-scale, concerted and holistic approach for assessment and control. Effective control of urban and industrial wastes is a major target of the LME project, and co-treatment of both types of wastes will form one of the demonstration schemes during the project. The project provides a regional approach to address the pollution of shared waters and associated degradation of critical habitats and the natural resources found therein.

African Development Bank
The African Development Bank (ADB) is the premier financial development institution of Africa, dedicated to combating poverty and improving the lives of people of the continent and engaged in the task of mobilising resources towards the economic and social progress of its Regional Member Countries. The bank's Environment and Sustainable Development Unit "is the focal point for addressing and integrating the cross-cutting themes of environment, population, gender, poverty reduction, NGO relations/local participation, and institutional development into the bank's operations." The bank's environmental guidelines include coastal and marine resource management, and fisheries. See also the country environmental profiles for the bank's members.

UN Economic Commission for Africa
The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)is the regional arm of the United Nations, mandated to support the economic and social development of its 53 member States, foster regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. The Sustainable Development Division (SDD) of UNECA plans and implements a critical program to raise policy-makers’ awareness on the urgency to integrate food, population and environmental concerns in development planning and offers its member States feasible solutions drawn from best practices within Africa and around the world. The UNECA published the report State of the Environment in Africa.

UNEP Regional Office for Africa
The major function of the UNEP Regional Office for Africa (ROA) is to coordinate UNEP's programme of work in the region. ROA acts as the link between the various units and centers of UNEP and the countries in the region, and promotes collaboration and partnerships with organizations active in sustainable development in Africa. ROA provides a wide range of advisory services using either UNEP staff or consultants through an umbrella project known as Regional Advisory Services (RAS). RAS advises on environmental machinery and technical requirements, reviews project proposals, and recommends action by governments and other organizations. ROA covers all 53 countries of the continent.