Welcome to the inaugural issue of the WACA Newsletter!
This newsletter will update you periodically on the West African Coastal Areas Management Program. Based on country demand, we are using a mix of technical assistance and investments in our ongoing effort to strengthen the resilience of coastal countries in a time of increasing natural disasters and climate change.
WACA is designed to support climate-smart interventions in the preservation and renewal of natural coastal assets and resources that are essential for communities, their livelihoods and coastal-marine (blue) economic development. Our aim is to support the sustainable development of key sectors such as fisheries, tourism and waste management.
Progress to Date
We are currently supporting the preparation of multi-sectoral investment plans for coastal development in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Togo, and Sao Tome and Principe, thanks to support from the German government. The signing of an administrative arrangement with France in support of a West Africa regional coastal observatory and site interventions was important in the expansion of the partnership, which currently also includes the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), and the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN).
The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) is sponsoring analyses of stakeholders, economics, and communications, while the World Bank’s Water Sector Program is sponsoring a regional sediment transport analysis. WACA is thus collaborating with and coordinating its work with many partners, also including United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Through our ongoing engagement of civil society and the media, and with this newsletter, we hope to reach many more stakeholders to work together on combating coastal erosion and flooding, and supporting the blue economy in general.
In this issue, we bring you up to speed on the recent workshop in Togo that developed a common vision on coastal resilience, resulting in the Communique of Lomé, as well the African Ministerial Conference on the Ocean Economy and Climate Change held in Mauritius. We were pleased to see the interest in the Blue Economy at COP22, including the announcement of the African Package for Climate-Resilient Ocean Economies, which includes an intent to provide further support to West Africa Coastal countries.
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know if you have any feedback to the WACA Newsletter and our work as we together with many partners assist countries in tackling coastal erosion and flooding in West Africa.
With best wishes for the New Year.
Practice Manager for Environment and Natural Resources - The World Bank