The socioeconomics of the West, Central and Southern African coastal communities: a synthesis of studies regarding large marine ecosystems

The socioeconomics of the West, Central and Southern African coastal communities: a synthesis of studies regarding large marine ecosystems

People living along the west, central and southern African coast are directly dependent on the health of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) for sustenance, economic development and their way of life.

The “Blue Growth” theme of the Abidjan Convention’s COP 11 is a major milestone in the region’s development, as it demonstrates a readiness among countries to address sustainability. This readiness arrives at a pivotal moment, when west, central and southern African LME fish stock levels are declining from unsustainable harvesting; uncertainty surrounds the integrity of marine and coastal ecosystems; water quality has declined from land- and sea-based activities; and coastal and seabed habitats have deteriorated.

The west, central and southern African coastal populations’ well-being, economies and cultures are interlinked with their ability to properly govern and manage their own activity within these ocean and coastal ecosystems, as the services provided by coastal and ocean ecosystems are critical to regional and national economies.