Nouakchott, Mauritania - The Government of Mauritania expressed its concern for the environment and welcomed the input of civil society during the 5th West African Coastal and Marine Forum held this week in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Main concerns are the fragility of the country’s ecosystems in the face of climate change and its energy requirements. Civil society representatives, such top officials from Wetlands International, gave important inputs for the solving of these critical environmental problems.
In light of the Forum of the Regional Programme for Coastal and Marine Conservation in West Africa (PRCM) , a high level delegation including , Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands Internal, Sylvie Goyet of FIBA among others paid a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister of Mauritania, Mr. Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf.
The Prime Minister expressed his concerns for the Mauritanian environment, which he deemed ‘fragile’ and vulnerable in the effects of climate change. Actions, however, are taken by the government, as it promised to continue to financially co-support the Banc d’Arguin Nature Park (PNBA) in Mauritania’s coast, home and shelter to enormous biological diversity. Furthermore, a Green Belt initiative consisting of planting 1 million trees along 4 kilometers in length and 800 in width in a timeline of 4 years, will create an ecological corridor.
Solutions to environmental concerns
Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International brought about solutions to improve the country’s resilience to climate change. She informed and informed the Prime Minister on the Climate Change Adaptation Fund, as well as the capacity of ecosystems such as mangrove to attenuate climate change related effects, such as sea level rise. The PRCM coalition offered to support the government in its search for sustainable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, for which this country has enormous potential. The Delegation also seized the opportunity to thank the Mauritanian authorities for their contribution in the organization of the Forum.
Another topic that was discussed is the hydro-carburant exploration on the coast and in parts of the Banc D’Arguin park. As oil spill risks need to be taken into account, developing extraction activities could seriously damage the park’s ecosystem, as was mentioned during the meeting.
About the PRCM Forum
The 5th West African Coastal and Marine Forum opened its doors in Nouakchott on Monday 28th of June for 3 days and focuses on Biodiversity and Conservation issues. The opening was attended by Mauritanian Authorities, representatives of the 7 PRCM countries (Mauritania, Guinea, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Cape Verde), Conservation and Environmental institutions as well as civil society representative from different countries.
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