(Ouagadougou, October 09, 2017) - The West and Central Africa Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN / PACO), the Regional Partnership for the Conservation of Coastal and Marine area in West Africa and the Global Water Partnership West Africa (GWP-WA) released today October 9, 2017 the names of the winners of the fourth edition of the "Water and Environment Journalism" competition. The competition which was launched on August 1, 2017 for one month had two price categories: Continental Waters and Marine and coastal waters. Two winners were selected for each category. This fourth edition registered the participation of many journalists from several countries in West Africa. The winners are as follows:

In the category of Continental Waters,

-       The first prize went to Idiatou CAMARA of Guinea for a 14-minute magazine entitled "L'Or bleu de Guinée levier pour une croissance durable de la sous-région" (Guinea's blue gold leverage for sustainable growth in the subregion)  broadcast on August 19, 2017 onwww.radioenvironnementgn.com .

Summary of the magazine: Located in West Africa, Guinea is a coastal country with many natural resources, making this country of 12 million inhabitants a "geological and agricultural scandal" and above all "the water tower of West Africa" because of the many international rivers and streams that spring from it. Benefiting from significant amounts of rainfall, Guinea has 14 international basins, 1,162 rivers listed by the Ministry in charge of Environment, Water and Forestry. Numerous hydroelectric dams also exist to boost the economy of the country and the sub-region.

With these great quantity of mineral, agricultural and especially water resources, Guinea could contribute to its own development, and even to that of the sub-region. Among the potentialities are fishing, maritime activities, ecotourism with the many natural beaches stretching over several kilometers or energy through the development of hydroelectric dams. However, many challenging issues at stake must be met in order to achieve this goal. These include the implementation of environmental agreements and conventions, the sustainable management of these resources and the adoption of adaptation and resilience measures in relation to climate change.  

- The second prize winner was Alexandra DJOTAN of Benin for her 15-minute radio magazine entitled "L'économie bleue un concept révolutionnaire, la pêche une réserve d'implementation à enjeux multiples au Bénin" (Blue economy, a revolutionary concept, fishing, a reservoir for implementation with multiple stakes in Benin), broadcast on Radio Parakou on 30 August 2017. It summarizes as follow: the blue economy is a new concept that promotes wealth creation associated with sustainable development. The African Union integrates it as a new development policy of the Nations, and yet it is little or not known by the populations. Implemented, it will promote the achievement of the challenges set out in the West African water resources policy document, in particular the better use of water to support socio-economic development, preparedness for crises and the preservation of water resources and associated ecosystems.

 In the category of Marine and Coastal Waters,

- The first prize goes to Mr. Idrissa SANE of Senegal for his press article, entitled " Protected marine area of the Bamboung: conservation revives fishermen and ponders" published on Saturday 9 September 2017 in the newspaper Le Soleil. It can be summarized as follows 

The development of the Bamboung Protected Marine Area (AMP) has revived fishing activities in the municipality of Toubacouta. This area, where fishing is forbidden, is a high place for fish reproduction and growth. The AMP feeds the other bolongs where fishing is permitted. Today, fishermen are returning to the land with more large fish and a diversity of species. It's a breath of fresh air for the fishermen and ponders who have increased their incomes. Conservation brings renewed hope to all the 14 villages involved in the conservation of fishery resources.

-The second prize is awarded to Ms. Kadiatou BAH of Guinea for her radio programme entitled "Responsible fishing in Guinea" broadcast on 30 August 2017on the rural radio of Guinea. It can be summarized as follows: "Since 2015, Guinea has implemented reforms in the fisheries sector. The objective is to achieve sustainable development of the sector and to promote the preservation of marine and coastal ecosystems, thus allowing Guinea to be removed from the list of non-cooperating third countries in illegal and unregulated fishing.  Two years later, the first effects are felt.

The first prize winner of each award (Idiatou Camara and Idrissa Sané) are invited to take part in the PRCM Marine Regional Forum to be held from 23-27 October 2017 in Conakry, Guinea on the theme: Investing in Coastal Resilience for a Prosperous Future in West Africa.

Given that the first place is awarded to a resident of Conakry for the continental waters prize, the jury decided that the second winner will travel to Conakry.

The second winners will receive a cash prize of 250,000 CFA francs.

For this fourth edition, many works submitted were dealing more with the protection of the resource than with the theme on the opportunities of the blue economy in a climate change context. But the quality of the journalistic works presented were all good.

The jury deplores the low level of participation of English-speaking countries in this edition.

GWP-WA, PRCM and IUCN-PACO take this opportunity to thank all applicants and renew their willingness to assist the media in carrying out their tasks of information playing their role as a relay to the public.

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For more information on water and environmental journalism contest, please contact:

-      IUCN / PACO Clément BIHOUN, Communication and knowledge mobilization expert: clement.bihoun@iucn.org

-      GWP-WAF: Sidi Coulibaly, Communications and knowledge Manager: sidi.coulibaly@gwpao.org

-      PRCM : Safietou Sall Ba, Coordinator Monitoring, capitalisation and communication : safietou.sall@iucn.org

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On GWP: www.gwpao.org or www.gwp.org

Global Water Partnership (GWP) was established in 1996 to develop regional water partnerships (including that of West Africa) and there are 13 RWP today worldwide. The GWP network include about three thousand (3,000) partners.

Global Water Partnership West Africa (GWP / WA) consists of member organizations of the GWP at regional level and in the countries of West Africa. It is a network of institutions aspiring to catalyze public action in the field of water and related sectors for better impact.

The GWP Vision is for A Water Secure World. GWP’s Mission is to advance governance and management of water resources for sustainable and equitable development.

There are currently thirteen (13) Country Water Partnerships (CWP) in West Africa.

On IUCN www.iucn.org/page  www.iucn.org/paco

The "Partnership for Environmental Governance in West Africa (PAGE)" is a regional initiative implemented by the Central and West Africa Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-PACO) in collaboration with its partners. Its aim is to contribute to improving the living conditions of West African populations through policy and environmental institutional strengthening. It is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) for a period of five years (2014-2018).

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, is the oldest and the biggest world conservation organization. It helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN’s work focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development. IUCN supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

On the PRCM: www.prcmarine.org / www.facebook.com/prcmarine

The regional partnership for the conservation of the coastal and marine zone is a coalition of actors working on the problems of the West African coast and covering seven countries: Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

The Partnership brings additional and unique added value by being:

  • A platform that brings together, coordinates and federates coastal and marine conservation initiatives in the sub-region
  • A network of exchanges between actors engaged in these common issues, allowing them to take advantage of various resources and expertise
  • A resource centre to capitalize on the experiences of members and make available useful information and scientific data

Through its network of partners, the PRCM fulfills the role of representing stakeholders and advocating on behalf of the Coastal and Marine Conservation CCM. It also brings together initiatives and actors and acts as a privileged interface for donors 

  • Place of consultation and exchanges
  • Network and technical and scientific expertise.


The second prize winner was Alexandra DJOTAN of Benin for her 15-minute radio magazine entitled "L'économie bleue un concept révolutionnaire, la pêche une réserve d'implementation à enjeux multiples au Bénin" (Blue economy, a revolutionary concept, fishing, a reservoir for implementation with multiple stakes in Benin), broadcast on Radio Parakou on 30 August 2017. It summarizes as follow: