Making the regional environmental policy an effective tool for governance and integration in West Africa

11 September 2013 | News story

IUCN-PACO publishes an information note on regional environmental policies of West Africa. This booklet is designed to know the policies and to present suggested improvements, identified in a regional workshop, to support their implementation.

The economies of West Africa highly depend on natural resources which constitute the basis of the daily lives of people. A large body of environmental policies has been developed over the past decade at the regional level to coordinate the efforts of the states. There are now nearly ten different environmental policies and regional legal instruments on West Africa whose implementation is just beginning.

Regional policies have the advantage of adding value and of being a unifying framework.
This approach allows consistent, complementary and harmonized implementation of policies and improved distribution of missions and roles among stakeholders.
However, it appears that the implementation of regional solutions that were agreed on is being hindered and is not satisfactory.

“In West Africa, the regional environmental policies have seen a rapid and spectacular development. Despite the great efforts and the results obtained, the road is still long to the application of these policies and their integration into a coherent multi-sectoral approach at all levels. Given the magnitude of environmental challenges, these policies need to be better known and their implementation supported by a wide range of state and non-state stakeholders in in a effort coordinated by regional institutions and organizations.” says Mr. Jean- Marc Garreau , regional program coordinator of IUCN-PACO.

In this sense, the information note on the application of environmental policies in West Africa suggests ways about:

  • the participatory development process;
  • the strengthening of environmental law;
  • the research of adapted and sustainable resources and financial mechanisms;
  • the development of clear and shared implementation mechanisms;
  • the application of a better communication strategy;
  • the monitoring and evaluation of activities.

This information note on regional environmental policies is a summary of the « Study on regional environmental policies in West Africa: collection, analysis and reflection for a real implementation » sponsored by IUCN-PACO, developed by Mr. Issa Martin BIKIENGA and approved by the participants of the regional workshop « Regional environmental policies in West Africa: how to work together for a successful implementation? », that was held on 5 and 6 July 2012 in Ouagadougou.