And so, what happens after COP10?
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.

"Animals don't know borders, so why shouldn't we work with countries we share borders with?"

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

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

For more information:

Mallé Diagana
Project Leader