ACHIEVING AICHI TARGETS AND SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN THE MARINE AND COASTAL PROGRAMME OF WEST AFRICA (PRCM)
Date and Time
14 October 2014 13:15 - 14:45
This side event will showcase some progress in West Africa towards Aichi Targets achievement. Species and habitats have been facing increasing pressure in West Africa: Overexploitation, critical habitat destruction, pollution, urbanization, growing extractive industry, and uncontrolled tourism development… are main threat factors causing significant environmental degradation. In addition, other legislative and institutional barriers such as incomplete governance schemes and inadequate integration of protected areas into sectoral development policies are affecting the effective management of most protected areas. In West Africa, most of people still rely on natural resources for their subsistence. For this reason, future commitment to protected areas is reliant in showing their benefits beyond biodiversity. Key issues include ecosystem services from protected areas (e.g. food security, genetic resources, disaster mitigation and mitigating climate change), but also protecting historic, cultural and spiritual values. Ensuring equitable distribution of benefits will be critical for poverty reduction. In order to address these challenges, considerable efforts have been made by various players (governments, local communities, NGOs and development partners). Despite these efforts, there are still critical gaps to be filled. Legislation in terms of Biodiversity conservation need to be updated, taking into account the new vision. WWF is aiming at enabling seven West African countries (Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone) to meet their commitments for implementing their commitments to protected areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity, including Aichi target. We are seeking to maximize protected areas’ ecosystem services, particularly to local communities; by addressing sustainable finance, addressing institutional and legislative barriers, building capacity of all involved stakeholders to addressing threats, promoting innovative governance mechanisms, as well as a major communication and outreach programme that will advocate the benefits from protected areas and biodiversity. PRCM: At regional level WWF has entered into a coalition with IUCN, Wetlands International and FIBA (International Fund for Banc d’Arguin) to establish a Regional Programme for Marine and Coastal Conservation in West Africa (PRCM). The programme, which has been officially in existence for 11 years brings the programmes of the 4 founding NGOs together with nearly 60 partner institutions from across the ecoregion: NGOs, research institutions, regional institutions, international bodies, donors, and other interested parties to define, implement, and track priority conservation activities throughout WAMER. The strength of PRCM lies in its diversity, and flexibility Over the past 11 years, the PRCM and its technical partners have played an important role in facilitating coordination of these efforts, highlighting priority needs and directly supporting key projects. Under the lead of WWF, PRCM had been technically and financially instrumental in coordinating the multi-country Round Table Task Force that was set up earlier this year to consolidate national priorities into a coherent regional vision aligned with the CBD targets.