As announced at CBD COP10, West African countries have made commitments to enlarge their protected area systems by 2020:
- Guinea will extend its PA cover from 8 to 25%;
- Guinea-Bissau from 15 to 24%;
- Mauritania from 30 to 40% (in 2011);
- The Gambia from 4 to 17%.
Guinea-Bissau has also pledged to host a donor roundtable for financing protected areas in West Africa in 2011. The main objectives of this roundtable are:
- to strengthen and raise awareness about national and regional priorities on the creation and effective management of protected areas in relation to the 2010-2020 CBD targets;
- to identify and agree on national and regional for sustainable financing for protected areas;
- to catalyze the engagement of donors in protected area management for West Africa, especially potentially new donors for the sub-region.
And what is WWF doing?
In anticipation of the COP10 a review of the implementation of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) was carried out in all 6 countries. This review shows that remarkable progress has been made, notably in Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Gambia. Guinea, for example, has adopted a formal national strategy for PAs management in 2010. The strategy has a strong focus on expanding the national PA network, including the establishment of transboundary PAs, strengthening the capacity of management and engaging local communities in participatory management. In Senegal, a similar national strategy is underway.
On the basis of national reviews, a regional review on PoWPA implementation will be conducted in March 2011 in preparation of the donor roundtable. Under the framework of the PRCM, a task force which will work to ensure COP10 committments are not forgotten is being set up.