Coastal and marine environment: Guinée Ecologie trains players in Conakry

Consider environmental, social and legal aspects, particularly with regard to preliminary impact studies, inform and educate non state actors about management tools; such were the objectives of a two-day workshop that opened this Thursday in Conakry, with in attendance twenty or so participants from the scientific community, environmental protection associations and the media.

This was an initiative of Guinée Ecologie in collaboration with its partners, including the Regional Partnership for Coastal and Marine Conservation in West Africa (PRCM) and the MAVA Foundation, as part of “PRISE 2, a project relating to an awareness-raising and information workshop for civil society organisations on the impact of infrastructural developments and environmental management tools”. Recalling the rationale and specificity of this meeting, the technical adviser of Guinée Ecologie and facilitator for the consultation platform, Mr. Mamadou Saliou DIALLO, said that the “objective is to inform and sensitise non state actors (leaders of national NGOS, reporters, corporate executives and key infrastructure donors) in Guinea around the impact of infrastructural developments and environmental management tools”, adding that “… our concern is to ensure that environmental issues are effectively factored in the construction of infrastructures along the coastline”.

The training focused on strategies 3 and 4 of the action plan. Emphasis was first laid on putting in place or galvanising multistakeholder forums on the construction of infrastructures and their impact on the coastal area. The next step was to disclose information and share issues of concern about the impact of infrastructural developments, review options available and propose appropriate regulatory and legal texts to close existing gaps and ensure their effective implementation. To this end, it was necessary to generate knowledge and provide stakeholders useful information in terms of commitment and decision-making. With regard to the project’s targets, Mr. Diallo mentioned seagrass beds, mangroves and sea turtles in the coastal areas of the five countries covered by the project.

Countries concerned are Cabo Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal. To help delve into the issues, several topics were addressed during the two-day meeting, namely “Introduction to and documentation on major coastal infrastructures in Guinea: the case of cities, ports and airports, transports, mining, plants, the state of play of biological diversity and coastal ecosystems in Guinea; The environmental and social impact of coastal infrastructures in Guinea; and The institutional, legal and regulatory framework of environmental management in Guinea”.

The meeting continued with presentations that gave rise to fruitful discussions on how to spur participants to take action on such issues of concern as the protection of marine species and the construction of infrastructures along the coasts, considering that this situation entails negative effects like coastal erosion, sea level rise and the degradation of fishery resources. A field trip was organised on Friday for participants to see first-hand the impact of the attacks on the coastline.