Ivory Coast has become the ninth member of the Regional Network of Marine Protected Areas in West Africa (RAMPAO), which promotes the preservation of marine biodiversity for the benefit of climate resilience and ecotourism.
The Regional Network of Marine Protected Areas in West Africa (RAMPAO) has a new member. It is Ivory Coast. It joins eight other countries, including Benin, Cape Verde, Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Sierra Leone, which together host 38 marine protected areas (MPAs) in the sub-region. This accession was announced recently by the Dakar-based institution.
“Marine biodiversity transcends borders and it is together, through our united commitment, that we can federate eco-responsible actions at West African level. We look forward to working with the Ivorian authorities, conservation organisations and all stakeholders to promote shared governance of our marine assets,” says Marie Suzanna Traoré, executive secretary of Rampao, which was set up in April 2007.
This view is shared by the Director of Ecology and Nature Protection at Ivory Coast’s Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development. According to Degrâce N’da Kognan, MPAs are essential for preserving fish stocks, restoring coastal habitats and promoting sustainable fishing. “Their role as nature-based solutions for mitigating the effects of climate change in the most vulnerable regions, particularly in West Africa, is well established”, he explained.
Ivory Coast owes this new step to the various initiatives it has taken to implement the 14th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG14), which calls for the enhancement of aquatic environments. These include the creation in 2020 of Ivory Coast’s first marine protected area off the coast of the town of Grand-Béréby, 378 km from Abidjan. The 2,600 km² site is home to a population of marine turtles and coral reefs that are constantly monitored by around thirty eco-guards, according to the Ivorian authorities.