The West Africa Marine Ecoregion is one of the most productive and economically important fishing zones in the world. PA4LP is working with partners to ensure sustainable livelihoods and enduring biodiversity in this region.
With the support of the Regional Coastal and Marine Conservation Programme for West Africa (PRCM) – a joint initiative of international NGOs – governments of Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Guinea, are delivering on CBD targets. Here are some highlights:

Enhanced Protection - New PAs and Improved Park Management.
  • Management plans have been developed for 8 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Senegal, Cape Verde and The Gambia based on management effectiveness assessments.
  • The Senegalese government has committed to establishing three new community-based protected areas. Sustainable tourism and other alternative sources of income are being developed.

Enhanced participation for local people.
  • Local communities have been engaged and strengthened through capacity building workshops, support for joint-management committees, and exchange visits. For example, 40 school teachers from villages were given training on MPA and fisheries management.

Governmental and Managerial Capacity Strengthened.
  • The capacity of governments to engage in international negotiations was strengthened through national and regional preparation for CBD meetings.
  • National strategies and action plans for protected areas systems and institutions have been developed including sustainable financing strategies and management effectiveness assessments.
  • The capacity of site managers has been built on issues such as business planning, ecotourism development, engagement of local communities and assessment of management effectiveness. In 2010, 40 park managers received training on MPA management and biodiversity.

Biodiversity Monitoring in place.
  • An ecological and socioeconomic monitoring system has been put in place for Senegal’s protected areas. Ecological surveys have been carried out in Gambian parks in partnership with the Integrated Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Management (ICAM) project.
  • At the global level implementation of PoWPA was reviewed in 6 countries and a regional review will be undertaken in 2011.

Increased funding - More Financing Available for PAs.
  • There has been a significant increase in donor funding secured for CBD implementation (US$ 5.1 million). In 2010 four business plans were created in Senegal which will raise funding for the implementation of management plans.

Alternative Income Mechanisms Established. 
  • In Senegal, a micro credit system has been put in place in 4 MPAs. Micro credit unions generate incomes while reducing pressure on the environment.

Next Steps for PA4LP in West Africa:
  • Organization of a donor round table to follow up on COP 10 committments.
  • Replication of income generation activities at Joal-Fadiouth in other MPAs across the region.
  • Training and exchange visits to address conflict management.
  • Development of ecological and socio-economic studies of MPAs, determining PA benefits to local people.
Fishing boat, WAMER 
Fishing boat, WAMER


October 2011: Management plan and zoning for Loss Islands MPA in Guinea is completed. 

July 2011: Validation of the national strategy for MPAs in Senegal. 

May 2011: A regional capacity building workshop on NBSAPs is held in Dakar, Senegal. 

March 2011: A four day Fisheries and MPA workshop is convened by PA4LP, USAID, the Coastal Resources Center, and University of Rhode Island. Over 47 participants representing government agencies attended the workshop. 

October 2010: Coalition for the financing of PAs in West Africa- 6 Environment Ministers and donors commit at CBD COP10, Nagoya, Japan.

October 2010: Major commitments on PAs network extension made by West African countries at CBD COP10, Nagoya, Japan, 

July 2010: Management plans for Senegal's MPAs officially approved in Dakar, Senegal. 

May 2010: Delivering on CBD targets in West Africa - an event for sharing lessons learned presented at CBD SBSTTA-14, Nairobi, Kenya.

January 2010: Sierra Leone joins PRCM to develop activities on PAs, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

March 2009: Memorandum of Understanding signed between the CBD and PRCM.

October 2008: PRCM partnership showcased at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, Barcelona, Spain.

May 2008: High-level event to celebrate PRCM, a partnership model valued by partners and donors at CBD COP9, Bonn, Germany.

April 2008: Banjul Declaration - governments reiterate their commitments for improving PA networks in West Africa in Banjul, the Gambia.

Contact: Senegal

Mallé Diagana, CBD project leader © WWF
Mallé Diagana, CBD Project Leader

Armelle NYOBE, Communications Assistant © WWF
Armelle Nyobe, Communication assistant
Beach in Mauritania
© Beach in Mauritania © Mark Edwards/WWF

“The project has helped Senegal to protect its marine and coastal biodiversity.”

Colonel Ousmane Kane, Chef de division, Aires Marine Protégées et Zones Humides, Direction des parc nationaux du Sénégal


Senegal Chameleon
© Senegal Chameleon © David Lawson/WWF-UK

“An increase in specific biodiversity has become apparent in the protected areas in Senegal.” 

Claude Sene, Association Assainissement P
êche Tourisme Environnement (APTE), Senegal

Volcanic landscape, Cape Verde
© Volcanic landscape, Cape Verde © Wim van Passel/WWF

“Marine protected areas are important in my everyday life : now there are more resources in the waters closer to home so I can fish closer to my family.”

Abdou Karim Sall, fisherman in Joal Fadiouth, Senegal


is composed of: 


CSRP (Sub-regional Fisheries Commission)




Wetlands International


Speaking to Local Fishermen - Senegal
© Speaking to Local Fishermen - Senegal © Mallé Diagana- CBD Project leader

Speaking to local fishermen about PAs is crucial to ensuring success.