Brainstorming on the development of the Additional Protocol to the Abidjan Convention was the main objective of the first meeting of the panel of experts on the sustainable management of mangroves, which was held in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, from 25th to 27th of November 2014 under the auspices of the Abidjan Convention. At the end of the workshop, several recommendations have been made and a roadmap drawn up. No doubt, an important step was just been taken ahead of the preparation of the Protocol.
A landmark has been set up for the establishment of the Additional Protocol to the Abidjan Convention on the concerted and sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems of the Atlantic coast in the African region of Western, Central and the South. In total, not less than 17 recommendations have come up from the first meeting of the group of African experts on the management of the resource, held in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, from 25 to 27 November 2014. One of such is the quantification of the goods and services of mangroves (study sponsor) to promote environmental assessment (hydrocarbons projects), to intensify mangrove reforestation efforts, to take greater account of mangroves in creating sites and reserves of marine and coastal protected areas, to take steps for preservation and mitigation of mangrove degradation parameters.
The meeting has also recommended that laws and regulations on mangroves in each State Party be listed, to support the process of revising the land laws and regulations for better integration of mangrove management, adopted at state level, specific laws and regulations to mangroves, to promote the principle of integrated management of mangrove ecosystems.
It will also prepare a draft / GRID ARENDAL to conduct feasibility studies on blue carbon and other innovative funding mechanisms.
The panel of experts wants to promote a new generation of economists on the environment, especially on mangrove, among others.
As a mean to make effective these recommendations, a clear validation and approval roadmap has been established. All is based on the finalization of the draft Protocol to the Abidjan Convention by March 2015. The institutions are the Secretariat of the Abidjan Convention, Wetlands International and the IUCN whose work and experience have been magnified. It also seeks the transmission of text for comments and observations to the focal points of the Abidjan Convention and regional and sub regional institutions concerned with such preparatory tasks of national consultations and the possibility of holding national workshops.
In addition, a meeting of plenipotentiaries is catered for. The expected results shall be approved by the next Conference of the Parties (COP) of the draft protocol.
Finally, the Abidjan Convention is responsible for the development of an operational plan of Protocol as quick as not later than October 2015.
This first panel of experts meeting of the Abidjan Convention on the development of the Protocol on the sustainable and concerted management of mangroves is timely. It comes four years after the Mangrove Charter was signed in 2010 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, by 6 countries of the Regional Programme for the conservation of coastal and maritime zone in West Africa (PRCM) without being ratified.
While opening the session, Mr. Abou Bamba, the regional coordinator of the Abidjan Convention said that ''We are currently laying a historical scope of action that will be used by other programs on mangroves. Once completed, the protocol will be the only legal binding instrument on the management of mangroves on the continent '' he said, after wishing a cordial welcome to all participants.
Several presentations were made. A mangrove site visit was organized to Adiaké, 92 km from Abidjan through Aby lagoon, along the Ghanaian border.