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Ivory Coast creates first marine protected area December 21,2020   |  Source: EurekAlert

Ivory Coast has announced the creation of its first Marine Protected Area (MPA).

The MPA will cover 2,600km2 (1,000 square miles) of pristine ocean off the coast of Grand-Béréby, protecting marine biodiversity including threatened shark and turtle species.

The announcement is the culmination of years of work by the Ivorian government, the Abidjan Convention, Swedish Government and local non-governmental organisation Conservation des Espèces Marines (CEM), supported by the University of Exeter and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

This work was done alongside communities in Grand-Béréby to strengthen protection of marine biodiversity and fisheries resources, and to enhance local livelihoods.

The Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Professor Joseph Seka Seka said: "Today I announce our decision to create Cote d'Ivoire's first Marine Protected Area in Grand-Béréby, a 'partially protected' area that will include an integrally protected zone closed to all activities, and an eco-development zone that will support sustainable fishing practices and ecotourism activities."

In September, the Ivorian government stated its intention to create five MPAs - and today's announcement confirms the first of these.

A legal process will now take place

 

© 2020 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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