Regions and network

UNEPGEFUniversity of Kalmar
Subregion 44: Benguela Current

Focal Point Co-ordinators
Dr. Kim Prochazka
International Ocean Institute-Southern Africa
Botany Dept. University of Western Cape
Post Bag X17
Bellwille 7535
Tel: +27 21 959 3088
Fax: +27 21 959 1213
Prof. Derek Keats
International Ocean Institute-Southern Africa
Botany Dept. University of Western Cape
Post Bag X17
Bellwille 7535
Tel: +27 21 959 3088
Fax: +27 21 959 1213

  • Major intergovernmental agreements and actors
  • Action programmes, strategies, and research
  • State of the regional environment
  • GEF Projects in the region
  • Other actors and initiatives
  • GIWA Subregional Task Team

    Major intergovernmental agreements and actors

    Convention for Co-operation in the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central African Region
    Under the Abidjan Convention, adopted in 1981and in force 1984, the Contracting Parties agree to take all appropriate measures to prevent, reduce, combat and control pollution of the Convention area and to ensure sound environmental management of natural resources using for this purpose the best practicable means at their disposal, and in accordance with their capabilities. There is one protocol to the Convention:
    Protocol concerning cooperation in combating pollution in cases of emergency, adopted in 1981 and in force in 1984.

    International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
    The Convention (see also pdf file) was adopted in 1966 and entered into force in 1969. The purpose of the Convention is the conservation of the resources of tuna and tuna-like fishes of the Atlantic Ocean. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) was established in 1969, under the Convention, as an inter-governmental fishery organization responsible for the conservation of tunas and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent seas.
    ICCAT is the only fisheries organization that can undertake the range of work required for the study and management of tunas and tuna-like fishes in the Atlantic. The Commission's work requires the collection and analysis of statistical information relative to current conditions and trends of the fishery resources in the Convention area.

    Southern African Development Community, SADC
    Established through the Treaty of the Southern African Development Community, signed in Windhoek in 1992. Members are Angola, Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychells, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Under the Treaty the countries of the region shall coordinate, harmonise and rationalise their policies and strategies for sustainable development in all areas for human endeavour. It is projected that in the next 20-30 years, three or four SADC States will be facing serious water shortages if nothing is done now. It was in recognition of the importance of a coordinated approach to utilisation and preservation of water that the SADC member States signed the Protocol on Shared Watercourse Systems at the 1995 Summit in South Africa. The main thrust of the Protocol which is a legally binding document, is to ensure equitable sharing of water and also ensure efficient conservation of the scarce resource. The SADC is also responsible for the implementation of the Zambezi Action Plan for the Environmentally Sound Management of the Common Zambezi River (ZACPLAN).

    Organisation of African Unity, OAU
    The Organization of African Unity was established in 1963, and the Charter of the Organization was signed on that occasion by Heads of State and Government of 32 independent African States. Its purposes are to promote the unity and solidarity of the African States; defend the sovereignty of members; eradicate all forms of colonialism; promote international cooperation having due regard for the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; coordinate and harmonize Member States economic, diplomatic, educational, health, welfare, scientific and defense policies. Issues like Research, Planning, Statistics & Population; Trade, Finance, Customs & Tourism; Agriculture & Rural Development; Transport & Communications; Co-operation & Integration; Industry, Energy & Mineral Resources, fall under the organisation's Economic Cooperation and Development Department.

    UN Economic Commission for Africa, ECA
    On the UN ECA site of the one finds News from Around Africa; Meetings & Events on Africa; Archives of ECA Activities; IT for Development; Nexus Issues; Empowering Women; Policy Analysis; Statistical Activities;Development Management; Governance; Regional Integration; Library and Publications; Reports of Conferences; Subregional Offices; and Special Initiative on Africa.

    Financial institutions

    African Development Bank
    The ADB is the premier financial development institution of Africa, dedicated to combating poverty and improving the lives of people of the continent and engaged in the task of mobilising resources towards the economic and social progress of its Regional Member Countries. The bank's Environment and Sustainable Development Unit "is the focal point for addressing and integrating the cross-cutting themes of environment, population, gender, poverty reduction, NGO relations/local participation, and institutional development into the bank's operations." The bank's environmental guidelines include coastal and marine resource management, and fisheries. See also the bank's country environmental profiles for its members.


    Action programmes, strategies and research

    Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem Strategic Action Programme
    The SAP was signed by Angola, Namibia and South Africa in November 1999. It lays down the basis and principles for action and cooperation, and outlines policy actions to be taken. It also gives a background to the problems that need to be addressed.

    UNEP Regional Seas Programme
    The Regional Seas Programme was initiated in 1974 as a global programme implemented through regional components. The Regional Seas Programme is UNEP's main framework in the field of the coastal and marine environment. It includes 14 regions and three partner seas, involves more than 140 coastal states, and focuses on sustainable development of coastal and marine areas. Each regional action plan is formulated according to the needs and priorities of the region as perceived by the Governments concerned. Regional conventions are in place for several areas. See a map of all regional seas, and go to more information on the Black Sea, Wider Caribbean, Mediterranean, East Asian Seas, South Asian Seas, Eastern Africa, Kuwait Region, North West Pacific, Red Sea And Gulf of Aden, South East Pacific, North East Pacific, South Pacific, Upper South West Atlantic, and West and Central Africa. The UNEP Regional Seas web site also contains information on What's at stake, Major threats, and Actions.


    State of the regional environment

    Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis
    The objective of the Benguela Current TDA is to provide, on the basis of clearly established evidence, structured information relating to the degradation and changing state of the Benguela Current LME, to scale the relative importance of the causes and sources of the transboundary water-related problems, and to elucidate practical preventative and remedial actions to ensure the sustainable integrated management of this unique environment. The TDA provides the technical basis for the development of a Strategic Action Plan (SAP), and the Project Brief, for the BCLME within the International Waters Area of the GEF. The description of the TDA also includes information on the state and nature of the Benguela Current, the need for international action, and what has been achieved so far.

    Background information, and Facts and figures about the Benguela Current
    See also general information about the area in the Strategic Action Plan and the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis.

    GEO 2000 State of the Environment: Africa

    Global Enviroment Outlook 2000. GEO is:

    • a global environmental assessment process, the GEO Process, that is cross-sectoral and participatory. It incorporates regional views and perceptions, and builds consensus on priority issues and actions through dialogue among policy-makers and scientists at regional and global levels.
    • GEO outputs, in printed and electronic formats, including the GEO Report series. This series makes periodic reviews of the state of the world's environment, and provides guidance for decision-making processes such as the formulation of environmental policies, action planning and resource allocation. Other outputs include technical reports, a web site and a publication for young people.

    GEF Projects in the region

    Project concepts in the pipeline

    UNDP/World Bank - GEF - International waters:
    Implementation of SAP Toward Achievement of Integrated Management of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem
    The objective of the project is to enhance regional efforts to address critical ecosystem and environmental problems in the area through the development and implementation of a coordinated and integrated approach to sustainable ecosystem management. See also the project web site!


    Other actors, initiatives and resources

    African Water Page
    The main objective of the African Water Page, published by the Water Policy International, is "to increase communication on the Continent of Africa between people working in water. However, the level of connectivity to the Internet is very low. With other forms of communication being a difficulty, the Internet adds enormous potential to data accessibility for professionals, particularly those working in Government service. Not only is data more accessible, but with email, News Groups and the WWW communication between sector professionals can also be enhanced. There is a distinct sense of isolation of people working, sometimes against daunting odds, in countries all around Africa. As the African Water Page develops, one of the objectives is to encourage African professionals to become members of a closed forum for the sharing of information and support, and to promote frank discussion about some of the difficulties facing African professionals".

    The Benguela Current - a Large Marine Ecosystem (LME)
    A Large Marine Ecosystem, LME, is a "region of ocean space encompassing coastal areas from river basins and estuaries to the seaward boundary of continental shelves and the seaward margins of coastal current systems. It is a relatively large region characterized by distinct bathymetry, hydrography, productivity, and trophically dependent populations." See also Rhode Island University map of LMEs.


    GIWA Subregional Task Team

    Name Address and contact
    Dr Janet Bodenstein Environmental Evaluation Unit,
    Department of Environmental and Geographic Sciences,
    University of Cape Town
    Professor Bryan Davies Freshwater Research Unit,
    Zoology Department,
    University of Cape Town
    Professor Charles Griffiths Marine Biology Research Institute,
    Zoology Department,
    University of Cape Town
    Dr Mafa Hara School of Government,
    University of the Western Cape
    Mr Nkosi Luyeye Ministry of Fisheries,
    Dr Mick O'Toole Private consultant at present, but until recently was in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia
    Dr Trevor Probyn Chief Directorate Marine and Coastal Management,
    Department of Environment Affairs and Tourism,
    South Africa
    Dr Chris Tapscott School of Government,
    University of the Western Cape

  • Global International Waters Assessment, GIWA
    SE- 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
    Phone: +46- 480 44 60 00. Fax: +46- 480 44 73 55.

    page last modified on 22 August 2006