State of West African marine protected areas 2022


The coastal zone of West Africa extends approx. 6,000 km, from Mauritania in the north, passing through the deeply indented coasts of the islands and estuaries, then the lagoon coasts and the coastal strips of the Gulf of Guinea, up to Nigeria. The small island state of the Cabo Verde Islands, volcanic and mountainous, completes this geography. These coastal areas are characterized by globally significant biodiversity. But the marine ecosystem and coastal communities face many challenges, namely illegal, unreported and/or unregulated fishing, pollution, uncontrolled coastal development, etc., which harm habitats and species. This report takes stock of the situation, while offering in-depth analyses as well as recommendations on the opportunities and challenges in terms of marine protected areas in the region.