With 189 member countries, staff from more 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. The World Bank Group works in every major area of development. We provide a wide array of financial products and technical assistance, and we help first republic investment management share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face.
We face big challenges to help the world’s poorest people and ensure that everyone sees benefits from economic growth. Data and research help us understand these challenges and set priorities, share knowledge of what works, and measure progress. Saint Louis’s coastal community is losing ground to the ocean each year, and families are losing their possessions, food and homes to coastal erosion, flooding, even breaking waves. In West Africa, entire villages are being destroyed by coastal erosion. How do we stop this threat?
How is West Africa Tackling Flooding and Coastal Erosion? After a recent three-country road trip to the region, Benoît Bosquet shares what is happening in West Africa to combat coastal erosion and flooding, and how the World Bank is helping crowd-in the finance and expertize needed to address this problem. Coastal areas in West Africa are under intense pressure from natural and anthropogenic activities that threaten the infrastructure and livelihoods of an ever-increasing coastal population. Erosion is changing Benin’s coastline and may even affect its border with neighboring Togo. Much of West Africa’s population lives along its coastline, where many of its capital cities are located. West Africa’s coastal areas are home to about one-third of the region’s people—and the population is growing four percent each year. West Africa’s GDP is generated from its coastal areas.
The coast hosts major cities, ports, agro-industries, fisheries, offshore petroleum exploration and production. The region hosts an abundance of natural resources, on land and at sea, which provides vital ecosystem services. These resources help drive economic growth, boost resilience in the face of climate change, and provide the livelihoods of many poor people. Unsustainable infrastructure development, inadequate management of natural habitats and resources, and pollution threaten the productivity of coastal ecosystems. West African coastal countries are taking action by raising a unified voice, and co-creating a regional approach to ensure that coastal areas can be sustained for future generations.
The Economic Commission for Africa’s new Policy Handbook on the Blue Economy advocates for the sustainable use, management, and conservation of aquatic and marine ecosystems and associated resources. WACA, in response to this growing need for regional integration, works with regional institutions like the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union, the Abidjan Convention of UN Environment, and the Ecological Monitoring Center. Technical assistance is provided to determine the factors that threaten people, ecosystems, and economic assets along the coast. It also offers finance for identifying multi-sector solutions such as land management and spatial planning, infrastructure, natural habitat management, and pollution management. Analyses of economics, risks, stakeholders and communication: Nordic Development Fund is sponsoring the baseline information required to make informed decisions on coastal zone management in four countries.
Multi-Sector Investment Plans: With support from the Africa Climate Investment Readiness Partnership, a mechanism supported by Germany, Multi-Sector Investment Plans have now been preparation several countries, and the WACA Program hope to mobilize additional resources to provide investment planning support to additional countries. Decision-Making Framework for Planned Relocation which countries can use as part of their decision to engage in adaptation in-situ, incentivized relocation, or a specific relocation program. Ecosystem Services Evaluation: Building on lessons from the WAVES Partnership, approaches for using ecosystem services valuation and natural capital accounting in the coastal zone context have been assessed. Board approval in the first semester of 2018. The project aims to improve management of shared natural and man-made risks, including climate change, affecting targeted coastal communities and areas on the West Africa coast.
It is designed as a regional integration project providing finance to countries and regional organizations. As such, it serves as a forum within which countries and regional organizations can share lessons learned, and solutions. The countries were selected based on demand for Bank support for assistance, and where resources were available for the preparatory work. A first phase of six countries will join the WACA regional investment project with the possibility for the rest of the 17 countries from Mauritania and Gabon to join at a later stage. Regional engagement is primarily via existing platforms of collaboration in the region. The program collaborates with national decision makers, including the ministries of finance, planning, economy, environment, agriculture, transport, energy, media and civil society, among others.
WACA convenes countries to access expertise and finance to sustainably manage their coastal areas. It was created in response to countries’ request for solutions and finance to help save the social and economic assets of coastal areas. A regional approach is essential to manage West Africa’s coastal areas, whether on policy, observation, or investments. It must be anchored on strong cooperation and integration, and focus on transformation, a departure from enclave development models. WACA has engaged a number of organizations and programs, and the hope is that the sum of this collaboration will generate the action required to manage erosion and flooding in priority hotspots. October 14 during Annual Meetings 2017. The event underscored the urgency of addressing the causes of coastal erosion and flooding in a sustainable manner and the need for regional cooperation among West African countries, public and private sectors, and the partners and donors involved.
There was wide consensus in the urgent need to mainstream coastal resilience in development planning and infrastructure across the region. Laura Tuck and Karin Kemper were offered new insights on WACA plans, especially the vital regional coastal erosion component to address jointly the impacts on both Benin and Togo. November 17, 2016: COP 22 – Africa Blue Economy Event: Oceans and Coastal Resilience: The event brought together countries and development partners to discuss resilience and adaptation in the blue economy, emphasizing progress made since the launch of the Africa Climate Business Plan at COP21, and the ways to accelerate implementation. COP22 by Africa Development Bank, FAO, and the World Bank. Honorable Mention” at the 2016 Blue Ocean Film Festival in a competition among hundreds of films submitted from all over the world.