Abidjan Convention, Spanish Oceanographic Institute Reach Deal For Creation Of CCLME Biodiversity Maps

By TheNigerianVoice-TNV

ABIDJAN - 19 Aug - A 40,000-US-dollar agreement has been reached for theSpanish Institute of Oceanography,to produce habitat and biodiversity maps for seven countries forming the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME), an ocean and shoreline region in the west to northwestern bulge of Africa's Atlantic coast.

The agreement was signed 25 July between the United Nations Environment Programme and the InstitutoEspanol de Oceanographia, a public research body of Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitivity. The deal allows for the Institute to develop a web-based geo-referenced database with which to produce the maps, which will also show the physical and chemical characteristics of the Economic Exclusion Zone.

The institute will also suggest technical ways to connect maps and databases to the CCLME and Abidjan Convention Secretariat websites. Scientists from Cape Verde, Gambia (The), Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Morocco and Senegal – which form the CCLME region - will also be trained in the use of Geographic Information System tools, after which they could generate their own maps from geo-referenced data samples.Work is to be completed within 6 months of the date of signature.

Production of the maps will increase the scope and capacity for the CCLME countries to apply ecosystem-based management to their coastal and marine areas.

The Abidjan Convention Secretariat, one of UNEP's Regional Seas Programmes,is responsible for the implementation of CCLME project Component 3 and application of this agreement with the institute. Similar projects exist in the Guinea Current and Benguela Current large marine ecosystsms, which are also in the Abidjan Convention Area.

Component 3 aims to build knowledge and capacity and the policy base for transboundary assessment and management of habitats, biodiversity and water quality critical to fisheries in the CCLME. The region has one of the highest fisheries production of any African large marine ecosystem with an annual production ranging from 2 million to 3 million tons.

Money for the CCLME project comes from the Global Environment Facility, participating countries and other partners. Joint project execution is by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the UNEP by employing an ecosystem-based management approach to reverse the degradation of the area's large marine ecosystem caused by over-fishing, the modification of habitats and in water quality.

For more information contact: Mr. AbouBamba, Abidjan Convention Secretariat, UNEP, [email protected]