In collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the United Nations Environment Programme, the ECOWAS Commission, through its Directorate of Environment and Natural Resources, organizes, from Tuesday 08 to Thursday 10 March 2022, in Abidjan, a regional technical meeting for the preparation of the report on the state of the environment and climate in West Africa.
This meeting recorded the participation of experts from specialized institutions, in particular the AGRHYMET Centre, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Water Partnership Office for West Africa, the West Center African Scientific Service on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), the Basel Convention Coordination Center for Africa (BCCC), the Ecological Monitoring Center of Senegal, the SERVIR-USAID Program, the ECOWAS Water Resources Management Centre, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Abidjan Convention.
The objectives of the workshop are to define the regional indicators and to examine the data and information available at the level of the Specialized Institutions then, to agree on the framework of collaboration which will guide the elaboration of the report on the state of the environment.
The workshop was introduced by Mr. KOFFI Yao Bernard, Head of the Environment and Climate Change Division who recalled the regional context and specified that this workshop constitutes one of the major stages for the preparation of the regional report. The workshop follows the regional meeting in Abuja in 2018 which identified the main themes and outline of the report.
The opening ceremony was marked by two speeches, in particular that of the Representative-Resident of ECOWAS, Madam Ambassador Fanta CISSE and that of Mr. Parfait KOUADIO, Director of Cabinet, representing the Minister of Environment and Development Durable from Ivory Coast.
Mrs CISSE recalled the context of this workshop and called the attention of the experts to the degradation of the environment and natural resources as well as the increasingly perceptible impacts of the Climate at all levels, local, national, sub-regional and regional and global. She then underlined ECOWAS’ desire to have a regional report on the state of the environment and climate. This report will constitute a reference document intended to better understand the environment, natural resources as well as the climate and the trends in their evolution, taking into account current responses and those to be provided in terms of policies, strategies, actions and investments favorable to sustainable development. She invited the regional specialized institutions present to provide the necessary data and information to inform the environmental and climate indicators that will be agreed during the workshop to report on the state of the environment and climate in West Africa. Likewise, the report will make visible the potentialities, assets and role of the environment and natural resources sector in the region in transforming our societies to make them viable and resilient, with a view to sustainable development.
In turn, the representative of the Ivorian Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr. Parfait KOUADIO, after thanking the President of the ECOWAS Commission for holding this workshop in Abidjan, greeted all the experts present. He congratulated the ECOWAS Commission for this initiative and was pleased that the regional report could include in annex the profile of each of the ECOWAS Member States. In this regard, he thanked the Commission for the support provided to Côte d’Ivoire for the preparation of its national report on the state of the environment like other ECOWAS Member States and declared opened the studio.
Eleven (11) presentations below followed by discussions will furnish this workshop:
- The context of the meeting, including the objectives and expected results;
- The different analytical approaches for preparing reports on the state of the environment and climate;
- The ECOWAS approach to developing regional environmental outlooks;
- The main environmental hotspots in the region;
- Regional sets of core indicators under the different themes;
- The basic datasets under the different themes;
- The data collection format/framework;
- Data visualization;
- The main driving forces of change: Soils/Landscapes/Climate change, Forest/Biodiversity/Climate, Water/ Biodiv /Climate change, Air/Pollutions, Cross- cutting issues;
- Agreed contributions to be provided by partners; selection of site(s), analysis and interpretation of data;
- The discussions on the partners of the regional working group on data and information.
These three days of work should make it possible to (i) have regional environmental and climate indicators, (ii) collect the data and information available, (iii) agree on a collaborative framework for the participation of all institutions.
The ECOWAS delegation to this workshop is led by Her Excellency Ambassador Fanta CISSE, Resident Representative of ECOWAS in Côte d’Ivoire. She is assisted by Mr. Yao Bernard KOFFI, PPO Environment and Climate Change at the Directorate of Environment and Natural Resources.