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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Abidjan Convention’s COP13 explores ‘Ocean Governance’ in Africa

Due to the prevailing health situation, the Abidjan Convention Secretariat has disclosed that its Thirteenth Conference of Parties (COP13), originally scheduled to hold in person from December 13 to 15, 2021 now takes place virtually at the same dates.

Abou Bamba
Abou Bamba, Executive Secretary, Abidjan Convention

Abidjan Convention COP13 is themed: “Ocean Governance: Challenges and opportunities for the sustainable development of Africa”.

The Conference of Parties, supreme body of the Abidjan Convention, takes place every two or three years. Its 13th edition will gather, aside representatives of member countries, participants from the five continents. Among them are scientists, representatives of intergovernmental institutions, United Nations bodies, environmental NGOs and partners.

This gathering, according to Vanessa Ahouadjiro, the Abidjan Convention spokesperson, will also be the opportunity to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Abidjan Convention which, since 1981 has been playing a remarkable role in the debates on oceans and coastal environment in Western, Central and Southern Africa.

Since its creation, the Abidjan Convention has succeeded in positioning itself as a key actor relating to marine and coastal biodiversity in the sub-region. During the last five years, it:

(1) Provided its member countries with four additional protocols on i) pollution from land-based sources and activities (Grand-Bassam protocol); (ii) sustainable management of mangroves (Calabar protocol); (iii) integrated coastal zone management (Pointe Noire protocol); (iv) exploration and exploitation of offshore oil and gas activities (Malabo protocol).

(2) Strengthened the capacities of member states in mastering the integrated management tools of coasts and oceans (Marine Spatial Planning, characterisation of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas, preparation of reports on the state of marine environment, strengthening the network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) of which the first Ivorian MPA was created on December 2, 2020, fighting coastal erosion, protection of mangroves ecosystems, fighting plastique pollution…).

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