Engaging the private sector on safeguarding West African coasts from climate change
Local businesses have an important role to play in preventing and managing natural and human induced hazards to safeguard the West African coasts from climate change effects. Countries in West Africa are expected to have a continued accelerated economic growth with rates exceeding 5 percent over the long term (UEMOA–IUCN 2011). This growth will support the pace of urbanization throughout the region, which will see a reinforcement of the concentration of economic activity along the coast, with the building of heavy industrial plant and the development of agro-industrial production.
However, these activities, if not well planned and managed, can exacerbate the effects of climate change, which in turn can affect local coastal communities as well as having a serious impact on the projected economic growth. There are ways in which the private sector can grow in a sustainable manner while ensuring the protection of the environment and safeguarding the resilience of West African coasts to climate change.