Integrated multi‐sectoral investment plan for coastal climate change adaptation in Benin and Togo
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Antea Group advises the World Bank on investment strategies within West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program
Coastal erosion and flooding are two major problems threatening the livelihood and the development of West African countries. In recent years, the seriousness and size of the problem grew to such an extent that the governments of several West African countries requested the support of the World Bank to assist them in defining and implementing integrated solutions to deal with coastal risks.
In response to the requests, the World Bank launched a regional technical assistance program called the West Africa Coastal Resilience Investment Program (WACA ResIP). The program covers six countries (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal and Togo) and provides access to technical expertise and funding for the sustainable development of the coastal zone.
The West African Coastal Areas (WACA) possess a plethora of natural resources, both inland and at sea. These resources provide vital ecosystem services and are a motor of economic growth. They play a major role in resilience to climate change and ensure the livelihood of many people. Coastal risks in general and coastal erosion in particular, pose severe risks to the national and regional development of West African communities. In some areas, the situation is alarming: local erosion rates are as much as several tens of meters a year. The area is also affected by severe problems of flooding and pollution. Although coastline dynamic changes are considered as natural phenomena, their worsening is partly caused by the direct and indirect effects of human activities. The impact is intensified even more due to demographic growth, economic development, reduction of sediment supply and climate change.
Non-coordinated climate adaption measures may imply disastrous consequences. For example, non-coordinated coastal defense mechanisms are generally limited to the displacement down-drift of erosion , but can also cause an opposite effect. This is why it is crucial to define a strategic, coherent plan for the coast as a whole (on a national and regional scale), including detailed multi-sectoral management of the coastal risks.
To address challenges faced by West Africa Coastal Areas, the World Bank commissioned Antea Group to carry out a multisectoral investment plan, which describes the coastal risks affecting Benin and Togo from a physical, socio-economical and institutional perspective.
The solutions provided by Antea Group consisted of defining the detailed investment strategies for the adaptation to coastal risks. The project comprised several phases:
- Inventory of the present risks (erosion, floods and pollution) and future challenges;
- Inventory of the possible adaptation strategies (works);
- Definition of the selective criteria for the classification of the works and strategies, classification of promising strategies;
- Preparation and presentation of the classification of work and stakeholder consultation;
- In-depth development of the selected strategies;
- Recommendations to the World Bank in the form of an investment roadmap.
As part of the project, Antea Group carried out field visits, participatory workshops with different stakeholders (technical, recapitulation and validation workshops), and meetings with the offices in charge of other ongoing studies in the context of the WACA program.