The West African coastal zone hosts critical natural resources and habitats that provide important ecosystem services. The area’s natural resources play vital roles in the functioning of the shoreline, providing natural protection against erosion, pollution, sea level rise, and extreme weather events. Coastal and marine ecosystems, including cold-water coral reefs, sea¬grass meadows, mangrove forests, and coastal wetlands and lagoons, also provide indispensable ecosystem services for the fisheries sector, as spawning and nursery areas for fish. The destruction and degradation of coastal natural resources has trans-boundary impacts. Joint efforts are therefore needed to develop win-win solutions. Regional collaboration and integrated decision making on the part of West African coastal countries is paramount if long-term, viable solutions are to be identified and implemented.
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