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Togo - Country Profile

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Biodiversity Facts

Status and trends of biodiversity, including benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services

Togo is one of the smallest countries in West Africa however comprises various ecosystems types, such as aquatic ecosystems, mangroves and several forest types. Three amphibian species and one plant species are endemic to the country. Recently conducted research has revealed that Togo presently hosts 3,501 spontaneous species of terrestrial flora (compared to 3,428 confirmed in 2009); 240 new aquatic species are described increasing their number to 501; 4,019 animal species (compared to 3,700 in 2009); and 170 species of mushrooms.

Land use analyses carried out in 1975, 2000 and 2010 confirm large variations in forms of land use. The most spectacular changes are observed in the northern region of the country, notably in the dry sudanian savannah ecoregions and in the Oti plain. In 1975, the south Beninese-Togolese peneplain ecoregion revealed very few agricultural zones however, since then, the area has undergone considerable agricultural expansion which has resulted in the fragmentation of wooded savannah and clear forest areas.

Protected areas currently cover approximately 10% of the national territory.

Benefits derived from the country’s biodiversity include food products, raw materials for industry, building materials; several plants are used in traditional pharmacopeia, sociocultural rites and even in cosmetics. The cool forested areas of Kloto, Danyi, Wawa, Blitta and Tchamba are popular attractions with local populations and especially with tourists. Diversified agricultural production (e.g. manioc, yam, coffee, cocoa) is also carried out in these areas due to the presence of rich fertile soils and good rainwater infiltration. Biodiversity also has important sociocultural value for the Togolese people, such as the sacred forests of southern Togo and the Kara region. Small-scale processing units for drying and smoking fish on the coast are often held by women. The presence of trawlers nowadays is indicative of the fishery being modernized in the country. Activities related to forest management constitute an important source of employment for local communities.

Main pressures on and drivers of change to biodiversity (direct and indirect)

The main threats to biodiversity are ecosystem degradation, alien invasive species, overexploitation of plant resources, the absence of a system for monitoring fauna, poaching, among others.

Measures to Enhance Implementation of the Convention

Implementation of the NBSAP

Developed in 2003, Togo’s first NBSAP addressed four main areas: strengthening legal and institutional capacity; establishment of a national conservation framework; support for ex situ conservation; support for the sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits derived from biodiversity. Ten objectives were formulated and, although certain actions have produced positive outcomes (e.g. development of a legal framework for protected areas; finalization and adoption of a Forest Code; awareness-raising and training for various development actors on the application of texts), overall implementation of the NBSAP has not been achieved. The main reasons cited for this are financial, human and technical constraints, weak consideration given to biodiversity in development policy, socioeconomic crises faced by the country, inadequate or incorrect application of legal texts, lack of coordination and synergy among the different sectors, and lack of definition of responsibilities.

In 2012, Togo initiated activities to revise its NBSAP that are ongoing. Twenty national targets have already been developed and are mapped to the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets

An international fair on biodiversity was organized in Lomé in 2013.

Initiatives for creating and managing forest communities have been undertaken by local communities with the support of civil society organizations, which has resulted in the creation of community forests, such as Alibi I, Natchambonga, Ando-Kpomey, Pessaré and Bago.

The National Agricultural Development Policy (PNDAT) (2013-2022) aims to stimulate sustained growth in the agricultural sector and improve the incomes of producers by at least 6% per year, in order to sustain an annual reduction in rural poverty by at least 5%, as well as sustainable improvements in food security.

At the end of 2013, Togo was admitted to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) to prepare the national REDD + strategy. As part of this programme, a national forest inventory, supported by GIZ, is underway and will contribute to the establishment of a system for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV).

Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)

Togo is increasingly integrating biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into development strategies. This is illustrated in the Strategy for Accelerating Growth and Promoting Employment (SCAPE) (2013-2017), particularly in regard to Strategic Priority 1 which addresses the development of sectors with high growth potential thereby promoting the protection and development of forests and particular ecosystems, among other actions. In addition, Strategic Priority 5 proposes participatory and balanced actions for sustainable development related to, for example, climate change, coastal erosion, pollution and nuisances, and the prevention of natural disasters.

In January 2011, a declaration on Forest Policy was adopted by decree, as was a decree on the organization and functioning of the National Commission on Sustainable Development. In the same year, the modalities for implementing an environmental audit were defined by decree.

Adopted in 2009, one of the challenges of the National Land Use Policy (“Politique nationale d’aménagement du territoire”) is to address land use practice through the establishment of frameworks that are spatially coherent in terms of national and regional actions.

The National Agency for Environmental Management was operationalized by decree in October 2009.

Financed by the EU, a national programme on decentralized environmental management (PNADE) (2009-2014) has reinforced the local governance of natural resources in eight prefectures.

Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation

A mechanism for overall monitoring and reviewing implementation in the country is lacking.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme