This project was a training needs analysis for environmental management and ecotourism development in Nigeria, Gambia and Ghana. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) contains 32 coastal states, and unsustainable tourism practices have already led to irreparable damage to fragile ecosystems and significant economic losses. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Global Environmental Facility (GEF), UNIDO and UNWTO have worked together to develop the Collaborative Actions for Sustainable Tourism (COAST) initiative targeting the sub-Saharan coastline.
The COAST Project is being implemented in nine sub-Saharan African countries (Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles and Tanzania). The project was developed with an aim of reducing the harmful impacts of sustainable tourism practices to the coastal ecosystems.The overall Goal of the COAST Project is to “support and enhance the conservation of globally significant coastal and marine ecosystems and associated biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa, through the reduction of the negative environmental impacts which they receive as a result of coastal tourism.”
Professor Marina Novelli and Dr Angela Benson were part of a consortium of five experts undertaking research in three of the nine COAST demonstrator projects.
The objective of the COAST project is to demonstrate and support the adoption of best practice strategies for sustainable tourism to reduce the degradation of marine and coastal environments of trans-boundary significance.
The two main outcomes of the project are expected to be:
Research into BAPs and BATs in Nigeria, Gambia (Novelli) and Ghana (Benson) led to the identification of training needs and government guidelines for ecotourism development. On this basis, COAST identified demo sites and delivered for example targeted training and local initiatives related to workforce development, local ability to contribute to the decision-making process and the enhancement of local livelihood opportunities through the development of responsible tourism initiatives.
Professor Marina Novelli
Dr Angela Benson
Nigeria fact sheet (pdf)
Ghana fact sheet (pdf)
Gambia fact sheet (pdf)
United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
Global Environmental Facility (GEF)
Collaborative Actions for Sustainable Tourism (COAST)