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Dear colleagues,  

The World Bank management argued in a recent blog that a green, resilience and inclusive development from the COVID pandemic is possible and that WACA can be a key contributor. In another blog, they stated that the private sector can be part of the solution by integrating sustainability in infrastructure and by engaging in public-private partnerships. The concepts exist, now we need to follow through. 

Despite the pandemic, the implementation of WACA is progressing on the ground, including for recovery, thanks to the commitment of governments and development partners. Senegal started works on nature-based solutions close to Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie. São Tome and Principe built a sea wall in Santa Catarina. In Cote d’Ivoire, the Office Ivoirien des Parcs et des Réserves (OIPR) is engaged with mangrove restauration. In Mauritania, fishing market clean-up offers a healthy space where vulnerable groups could safely eke a living during the pandemic. 

The three winners of the WACA Call for Innovation are now making their ideas implementation- ready. Stay tuned for the WACA Innovation Book that will feature the many innovations proposed. Private sector is engaged or will have a role to play in each innovation, whether it is in co-financing, corporate responsibility, or R&D.  

I am excited about the West Africa Coastal Observatory’s upcoming 2020 State of the Coast Report. Thanks to years of regional integration activities by Abidjan Convention Secretariat, Centre de Suivi Ecologique, IUCN, and WAEMU, we will have a full picture of the coastal development challenges and required action.  

Best regards on behalf of the WACA Team,  

Peter Kristensen 

One Planet Summit

The One Planet Summit was held on January 11 to mobilize a coalition of partners to support climate action. This year’s edition focused on biodiversity and its linkages to agroecology, climate, food security in Africa, and marine protection; financing for nature-based projects; and deforestation and human and animal health. In his opening remarks, World Bank President David Malpass referred to WACA’s work on coastal resilience as an element of a puzzle where conservation of biodiversity and natural habitats serve to support livelihoods and manage countries’ natural capital.  

Supporting a Green, Resilient and Inclusive Recovery on West Africa’s Coast
Blog by Ede Ijjasz-Vásquez, Maria Sarraf and Simeon Ehui

In January, global leaders met at the Climate Adaptation Summit to set out clear commitments to make our world more resilient. They sent an important message: as governments prepare plans for COVID recovery and mobilize financing, the world has the unique opportunity to build a greener, more resilient, and more inclusive future. WACA is showing, with actions, that such recovery is possible. Read the blog

Maximizing Innovation and Finance for Coastal Resilience in West Africa
Blog by Fatouma Toure Ibrahima and Peter Kristensen

Engaging the private sector is critical for an in-depth understanding of the technologies, innovations, and financial tools that must be deployed and scaled up to bring change. We can get even further when private sector actors commit firmly to sustainability and corporate social and environmental responsibility. Read the blog

Integrated Fisheries Management for Coastal Communities’ Resilience in Guinea

WACA seeks synergies with existing World Bank portfolio to promote operations that are resilient to climate change and avoid exacerbating coastal degradation. Fisheries and coastal zone management are closely linked and both must be addressed to sustain coastal livelihoods. In Guinea, the World Bank-financed West Africa Regional Fisheries Program contributed to transparency, better regulation and solid institutions. Read more

Where Rice, Mangroves and Dikes Connect in Guinea-Bissau

In Guinea-Bissau, agricultural expansion and particularly, rice cultivation, have covered mangroves. Over the past 80 years, the total area of mangrove forests has declined by 32%. The labor-intensive farming requires the building of dikes to protect rice fields from seawater. But, with climate change, the sea can overtop the dikes and destroy crops unless there is a sufficient barrier of mangroves at the water’s edge.The Restoration Initiative  funded by the Global Environment Facility is restoring the mangroves and enhancing food security. Read more

WACA Call for Innovation

Imagine an App that helps you decide what coastal intervention can help your town, your community, stay above water. That’s the kind of simple invention showcased at the first WACA Call for Innovation. Many innovative ideas were received with five selected to present and three receiving prizes. Watch the award ceremony and find out more about the ingenuity of our finalists. Check also the interview with Coastal Protect Africa, one of the winners, by the magazine A New Touch of Africa.   

Accessing knowledge and solutions isn’t that easy, let alone accessing innovation. We need to find new ways to stop coastal erosion and should not be afraid to call for help. That is exactly what this Call for Innovation is doing, in response to the monumental challenge of coastal degradation in West Africa.” Benoit Bosquet, World Bank Regional Director for East Asia and Pacific and Chair of the Jury 

Country Round Up 

Congratulations to Sao Tome and Principe for the Board-Approval of $6 million GEF Additional Financing 

In Sao Tome and Principe, WACA ResIP emphasizes the development of safer relocation areas to provide incentives for the population to not settle in most at-risk areas. However, additional investments are needed to restore the natural ecosystems and develop them to promote income generating activities such as sustainable fisheries and tourism. This additional financing scales-up the development impact of the existing project by including activities identified in the planning phase but not yet financed. Read more

Mauritania: Awareness Building through the Cleaning of Fish Market  

With the COVID 19 pandemic, keeping markets clean is key to a safe community. In Mauritania, one of 40 social sub-projects organized a campaign to sanitize the Sebkha Fish Market and engaged local citizens in understanding the importance and urgency in managing coastal areas. 

 Media Picks 

  • Togo: Satisfaction with progress of WACA expressed by the Minister of Environment and Forest Resources and the Minister of Maritime Economy, Fisheries and Coastal ProtectionWatch the video 

  • Cote d’Ivoire: Professor Ochou, National WACA Project Coordinator, presents his vision on coastal resilience and the transformation WACA is bringing. Listen to interview. 

  • Maria Sarraf, World Bank Practice Manager, spoke on Deutsche Welle Radio on how WACA is building coastal resilience. Listen to the interview.  

  • Thomas Price, WACA RISU, calls on journalists to partner with WACA to maximized coastal resilience. Read the story in DakarActu.  

  • Cote d’Ivoire: Media Helps WACA Disseminate Law Protecting Coast   
    In Cote d’Ivoire, the Law No. 378 of June 2, 2017 defines how to govern the management the coast. For example, the law prohibits citizens from extracting sand, undertaking dredging, and dumping waste. Journalists were well engaged in making information about the law available to communities which are key to its application. 

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