Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem countries to meet in Cameroon

Member states of the Interim Guinea Current Commission (IGCC) who share the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) begin a two-day meeting with potential development partners on February 17 in Cameroon, according to a statement issued in Accra by the organisers on Tuesday.

It said the meeting would present concrete national priority investment portfolios and initiate dialogue on forging both financial and technical partnerships for implementing their priority project plans to restore, protect and sustain marine ecosystems and resources.

It said the Government of Cameroon, through the Ministry of Environment, would host the seminal Conference.

The statement said the Conference organizers expected about 60 participants and delegates to be in attendance in Douala, Cameroon.

These would comprise representatives of IGCC member states, bilateral and multilateral development partners, private sector companies and interested non –governmental organizations.

The statement said projects to be tabled at the conference were detailed in each country’s National Action Plan (NAP).

This is a set of priority programmes/projects that are in line with national legislation; policy and investment needs and are to be implemented at the country-level.

The statement said resource mobilization (both domestic and from development partners) for these projects would advance the integrated regional management approach for the sustainable use of living and non-living resources and would result in a measureable reduction or reversal in degradation of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (LME).

“This is the overarching strategic goal for the region which has some of the highest poverty levels in the world.”

It said the conference was vital for the environmental, economic, social and, perhaps, political wellbeing of the GCLME countries stretching from Guinea-Bissau to Angola.

The conference is the first by the GCLME, a joint project, with Global Environment Facility support, to stem the loss of living resources and halt coastal degradation of the GCLME region.

The long-term goals of this ecosystem project are to recover depleted fisheries and sustain their supply; restore degraded habitats; as well as reduce, if not eradicate, land and ship-based sources of pollution that are causing environmental havoc.

It said these challenges were being compounded by an increasing demographic shift as masses of rural folk flood coastal towns and cities across the entire region.

Source: GNA

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