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West Central Africa - Building ownership for environmentally sustainable development (Inglês)

Within the sub-region of West Central Africa (Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo) several countries have completed National Environmental Action Plans (NEAPs). Some are implementing environmental support programs based on these plans, as well as more site-specific natural resource management, urban environmental management, and biodiversity conservation projects. The report notes some success stories. It concludes, however, that high population growth and rapid urbanization, high poverty levels and the direct dependency of most poor families on natural resources for subsistence, low levels of environmental awareness at all levels of society, market and policy failures, and institutional weaknesses, all point to the need for redoubling and redirecting environmental efforts. These factors underlie the sub-region's priority problems as identified in national planning exercises: (i) land degradation; (ii) deforestation and loss of biodiversity; (iii) water availability and quality; (iv) urban environmental degradation; and (v) coastal resource degradation. Without action, these problems will increasingly constrain the options for sustainable development. The strategy makes it clear that the next major phase towards Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) is to mainstream environmental issues into national development planning in all sectors and at all levels of society.

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