West Africa’s coastal areas are home to about one-third of the region’s people—and the population is growing 4% each year. A very large proportion, about 40%, of West Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) is generated from its coastal areas. The coast hosts major cities, ports, agro-industries, fisheries, offshore petroleum exploration and production. The region hosts an abundance of natural resources, on land and at sea, which provides vital ecosystem services. These resources help drive economic growth, boost resilience in the face of climate change, and provide the livelihoods of many poor people.
However, unsustainable infrastructure development, inadequate management of natural habitats and resources, and pollution threaten the productivity of coastal ecosystems. Climate
The West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program (WACA) helps countries access expertise and finance to sustainably manage their coastal areas. It was created in response to countries’ request for solutions and finance to help save the social and economic assets of coastal areas, and coastal erosion and flooding.
The launch of the WACA Program and its convening Platform seeks to simplify access to knowledge and technical expertise and promote political and financial commitments to support a coordinated, regional approach for coastal resilience in West Africa.
Hosted by the Republic of Senegal’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, and co-organized by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, Nordic Development Fund, West African Economic and Monetary Union, and the World Bank, high-level political commitments to the regional approach to coastal resilience will be highlighted on November 8th, with the official Ministerial launch of the WACA Platform and the first WACA Resilience Investment Project.
The three-day event also includes a knowledge day to share the latest innovations and experiences in promoting coastal resilience, a field visit to local communities in Dakar to see firsthand the impacts of coastal degradation and the solutions being implemented and will be preceded by two days of technical working sessions for the WACA Resilience Investment Project.