The WACA Program 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 in particular. The WACA Program provides Technical Assistance, Investment Finance, and has announced to launch a High-Level Investment Platform to crowd in additional partners to mobilize the resources at the scale needed.
West Africa’s coastal areas are home to about one-third of the region’s people—and the population is growing four percent each year. A very large proportion, about 42%, of West Africa’s GDP is generated from its coastal areas. More than 1.6 million tons of fish are legally captured in West African waters each year, with an estimated wholesale value of US$2.5 billion. 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.
Unsustainable infrastructure development, inadequate management of natural habitats and resources, and pollution threaten the productivity of coastal ecosystems. Climate
West African coastal countries are taking action by raising a unified voice
The Economic Commission for Africa’s new Policy Handbook on the Blue Economy advocates for the sustainable use, management, and conservation of aquatic and marine ecosystems and associated resources. It is anchored on strong regional cooperation and integration, considers structural transformation as an imperative for Africa's development, and advocates for a complete departure from enclave development models.
WACA, in response to this growing need for regional integration, works with regional institutions like the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union, the Abidjan Convention of UN Environment, and the Ecological Monitoring Center. In 2009 WAEMU, entrusted the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with the preparation of the West African Coastal Area Management Plan (SDLAO), which now serves as
In response to the challenges in coastal zone management expressed by West African governments, WACA has mobilized technical assistance and finance in support of existing coastal management initiatives in the region, and to helps countries integrate infrastructure and natural resources management in order to enhance their resilience in the face of climate change, and coastal erosion and flooding in particular.
Technical assistance is provided to determine the factors that threaten people, ecosystems
Analyses of economics, risks, stakeholders
Multi-Sector Investment Plans: With support from the Africa Climate Investment Readiness Partnership, a mechanism supported by Germany, Multi-Sector Investment Plans have now been preparation several countries, and the WACA Program
Social and Community Development: The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is sponsoring the development of a Decision-Making Framework for Planned Relocation which countries can use as part of their decision to engage in adaptation in-situ, incentivized relocation, or a specific relocation program.
Ecosystem Services Evaluation: Building on lessons from the WAVES Partnership, approaches for using ecosystem services valuation and natural capital accounting in the coastal zone context have been assessed.
Supporting NDC Implementation: The NDC Partnership Support Facility is providing funding to pilot an approach to result-oriented action to meet Cote d’Ivoire’s National Determined Contribution (NDC) focusing on coastal adaptation.
Remote sensing: The WACA Program is in dialogue with the European Space Agency (ESA), French Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOM), and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on approaches to cube data management, setting
Based on the commitment made in the Africa Climate Business Plan, the World Bank entered the project entitled WACA Resilience Investment Project (WACA ResIP)
The project aims to improve management of shared natural and man-made risks, including climate change, affecting targeted coastal communities and areas on the West Africa coast. It is designed as a regional integration project providing finance to countries and regional organizations. As such, it serves as a forum within which countries and regional organizations can share lessons learned, and solutions.
Six countries (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, and Togo) have been engaged
The regional integration project seeks to unite development partners around country-led Multi-Sector Investment Plans (MSIP) so that adequate resources can be mobilized for interventions at the scale needed to reduce the risk imposed on people by coastal erosion and flooding. As part of the technical assistance provided, countries have prepared or are currently preparing multi-sector investment plans that prioritize a series of projects needed to control erosion and flooding, and also address other pressures such as marine pollution.
The methodology for selecting hotspots is based primarily on the existing West African Coastal Area Management Plan (SDLAO), and
Regional engagement is primarily via existing platforms of collaboration in the region. For example, in collaboration with the West Africa
Discussions are underway with the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), the French Development Agency (AFD), the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) about a common framework of investment in support of country-led investment plans for sustainable management of coastal areas.
The principal partners of WACA are its ultimate beneficiaries: the people who live along the West African coast and depend on it for their livelihoods, nutrition, food security, and prosperity.
The program collaborates with national decision makers, including the ministries of finance, planning, economy, environment, agriculture, transport, energy, media and civil society, among others.
WACA convenes countries to 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.
A regional approach is essential to manage West Africa’s coastal areas, whether on policy, observation, or investments. It must be anchored on strong cooperation and integration, and focus on transformation, a departure from enclave development models.
To help deliver on this promise, the WACA Program now
WACA has engaged a number of organizations and programs, and the hope is that the sum of this collaboration will generate the action required to manage erosion and flooding in priority hotspots.
Currently, the following agencies and programs are engaged:
Events and News
Paris, France, December 12, 2017 - One Planet Summit
President of France Emmanuel Macron, UN
The One Planet Summit became a clarion call for adaptation along the 17 countries that comprise West Africa’s
Ministers from West Africa joined World Bank senior management, partners and donors for a panel event, “Scaling Up Coastal Resilience in West Africa,” on October 14 during Annual Meetings 2017. The panelists included H. E. Jose Didier
The event underscored the urgency of addressing the causes of coastal erosion and flooding in a sustainable manner and the need for regional cooperation among West African countries, public and private sectors, and the partners and donors involved. There was wide consensus
Benin, Togo, Ghana August 20-23, 2017: Vice President for Sustainable Development Laura Tuck and Senior Director for Environment and Natural Resources Karin Kemper traveled to Benin, Togo
The field visits to significant coastal erosion hotspots were the culmination of the visit on the Benin side, including a site at Grand-Popo and another one at Hillacondji (at the Benin-Togo border). Laura Tuck and Karin Kemper were offered new insights on WACA plans, especially the vital regional coastal erosion component to address jointly the impacts on both Benin and Togo. The World Bank mission then proceeded to Togo, where they were welcomed at the border by the Togolese Minister of Environment and Forest Resources (André Johnson), the Mayor of Aného (Patrice Ayivi), the traditional chief and the WB Country Manager. Field visits included three coastal erosion hotspots at Aneho and Agbodrafo. Another field visit (August 23) took the team to the site of the Lomé Container Terminal (supported by IFC) where they had an opportunity to view the erosion to the east of the port terminal and the accumulation to the west. A mini-workshop took place at the Prime Minister’s office in Lomé and attended by five ministers (environment, agriculture, transport, and energy), the President’s Adviser on the Sea, the Prefet Maritime, high-level public officials and the WB team.
March 25 – 31, 2017: The Abidjan Convention COP12 - the recent cornerstone event regarding regional erosion, was the perfect venue for the identification mission of the Bank’s proposed West Africa Coastal Areas Resilience Investment Project (WACA ResIP, P162337). At the COP, Environment ministers decided to support and promote the implementation of WACA, and its objectives of reducing the risk to coastal communities and promote multi-sectoral integrated and climate-change-resilient management of coastal areas. The ministers asked the Abidjan Convention secretariat to hold discussions with the World Bank Group to extend WACA to more countries (the Convention covers countries on Africa’s Atlantic coast from Mauritania to South Africa). Click here for more information.
November 17, 2016: COP 22 - Africa Blue Economy Event: Oceans and Coastal Resilience: The event brought together countries and development partners to discuss resilience and adaptation in the blue economy, emphasizing progress made since the launch of the Africa Climate Business Plan at COP21, and the ways to accelerate implementation. Click here for more information.
November 12, 2016: COP22 - WACA is part of the “African Package for Climate-Resilient Ocean Economies
November 10-13, 2016: The WACA film “Saving West Africa's Coastal Assets” was awarded "Honorable Mention" at the 2016 Blue Ocean Film Festival in a competition among hundreds of films submitted from all over the world. The Blue Ocean Film Festival honors films with the belief that they are the most powerful tools to engage a broad global audience about the ocean, create a better understanding and empower next steps. The festival took place in St Petersburg, Florida, November 10-13, 2016.
On October 19-21, 2016, the West Africa Coastal Areas (WACA) team, in partnership with WAEMU/ IUCN/
On September 1-3, 2016, the World Bank Group, in collaboration with the Republic of Mauritius, organized the African Ministerial Conference on Ocean Economies and Climate Change. The conference brought together African countries, development partners, the private sector, scientists, thought leaders, civil society, academia, media and communities whose everyday lives depend on healthy oceans. Coastal resilience and management were at the top of the agenda, along with good fishing practices, improved and increased aquaculture and sustainable tourism, as well as greener and stronger ports. For more information check out the event page and the Comnuniqué.
On May 18-19, 2016, The government of Côte d’Ivoire organized the launch workshop of its activities under the WACA program in Grand-Lahou. The workshop program included discussions on the need for regional coordination and planning, improved governance, and the technical requirements for national and regional level monitoring. For more information check out the event page.
On April 21st, 2016, France signed an Administrative Agreement with the Bank to expand collaboration on the Blue Economy and on WACA. In support of West African countries and in collaboration with the World Bank and others, France will fund the establishment of a West Africa Coastal Observatory as well as technical assistance to leverage even more resources. Learn more from the official press release, French Ministry of Environment press release and the description of WACA on the UN climate change website (French)
On March 17, 2016, the WACA team held a very successful learning event: Vulnerability and Resilience in the Coastal Zone of West Africa: Tools for Assessing Impacts and Adapting to Risks. The event is part of the WACA 2016 Learning Series.
On December 3,
Human Interventions and Climate Change Impacts on the West African Coastal Sand River
This study is to derive a regional-scale sediment budget analysis for Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, and Benin. The report documents how sand originating from rivers and from large coastal sand deposits is now retained behind river dams and/or interrupted at several locations by port jetties.
WACA Multi-Sector Investment Plans
The MSIP’s provides a prioritized list of investment needed for physical and social investments, as well as for policy and institutions at national level. They vary a bit in approaches as they are based on existing processes in the concerned countries. Some apply a multi-criteria approach, others are based on local or national development plans for the coastal zone. But common for
WACA KNOWLEDGE SHEETS
The World Bank and the Blue Economy in Africa
There is great potential for growth of Africa’s Blue Economy through fisheries, aquaculture, minerals, energy, transport, and trade, as well as tourism. The World Bank, in cooperation with international partners, is supporting Africa’s Blue Economy through several programs, technical training, and coastal investments:
West Africa’s coastal areas host an abundance of natural resources, on land and at sea, that provides vital ecosystem services and help buffer against severe weather events.