AU-IBAR Facilitates Joint Efforts to Protect Transboundary Marine Ecosystems in Congo Basin

Wed, 15-05-2024 15:00:00

Together with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), AU-IBAR has been holding a workshop on transboundary marine ecosystem management from May 14th - 6th, 2024, in Kinshasa, DRC. The conservation of aquatic biodiversity and the environment in the Congo Basin are the primary goals of this joint effort. 
Due to the need to implement the African Blue Economy Strategy (ABES) and the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture (PFRS), AU-IBAR has taken note of the tremendous opportunities and threats that African aquatic ecosystems face. Climate change, habitat deterioration, pollution, and poor governance were highlighted in the research commissioned by AU-IBAR to evaluate the state of shared marine ecosystems. The study emphasised the need for concerted action to address these serious concerns. 

Strategic aims and objectives were suggested to direct conservation efforts based on the study's findings: 

1.Enhancing ecological integrity and biodiversity conservation. 
2. Bringing attention to the importance of ecosystem products and services while valuing them. 
3. Ensuring that genetic resources are shared fairly and equitably. 

With an emphasis on the Gulf of Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystems, this consultative workshop seeks to facilitate the creation of coordinated plans for the management of transboundary marine ecosystems. Developing policy guidelines for conservation and environmental management, raising awareness, finding applicable policies and tools, filling in gaps in national frameworks, and so on are all important goals. 

In order to help with stakeholder involvement and technical assistance, AU-IBAR is working closely with COREP (La Commission Régionale des Pêches du Golfe de Guinée), the Commission on preserving the environment.  The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) is taking part in the consultation process, and each country's focal point is in charge of coordinating national efforts to make sure they are in line with regional guidelines and recommendations. 

Workshop outcomes will consist of a detailed report outlining suggestions, policy guidelines for coordinated conservation efforts, and reports on the evaluation of current national instruments. Joint management plans and processes will be put into place with the help of these outputs, which will educate future actions. 

Through collaborative efforts and strategic planning, AU-IBAR aims to strengthen the management of transboundary marine ecosystems in the Congo Basin. By aligning national strategies with regional frameworks and recommendations, African countries can effectively conserve aquatic biodiversity and promote sustainable development in the blue economy sector. This initiative contributes to AU-IBAR's broader goal of conserving aquatic biodiversity and fostering environmental sustainability in African Union Member States and Regional Economic Communities.

This initiative is being implemented under the Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity in the Africa Blue Economy – under funding from the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (SIDA).