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Economy - Development | Environment - Nature

Environmental development plan for littoral Mauritania

afrol News, 5 November - Until the 1970s, Mauritania's coastal regional was practically uninhabited. Now, it is the centre of development in the Saharan country, and the Mauritanian coastline is expected to attract much of the investments of the future. A new management plan for littoral Mauritania is to assure that these developments are environmentally sustainable.

According to the global environmentalist union IUCN, such a management plan to protect the fragile interface between the Sahara desert and the Atlantic Ocean is now being co-developed by the organisation. As the fragile zone is now "becoming the nerve-line of developments in Mauritania," a sustainable management plan was strongly necessary.

The coastal zone of Mauritania has already started its boom, with five of the country's principal sectors investing here. This includes the fisheries, agriculture, energy, water production and transport sectors. In the future, even the tourism sector may seek its place along Mauritania's coastline of endless sand beaches.

- In this regard, an adequate management plan for the coastal and marine zones is becoming crucial for a durable and prosperous future of the country, but also to prevent the resource overexploitation in the littoral zone, said Jade Creuseveau, a consultant of IUCN-Mauritania working on the project.

Concerns over how to reconcile the various diverging interests and how to to promote synergies led the Nouakchott Ministry of the Fisheries and Maritime Economy to create planning tools for the development of littoral Mauritania. Various partners - including Mauritanian business sectors, the French development cooperation and IUCN - are involved in creating the framework for the important region's further development.

A panel of a large number of stakeholders is to be organised on 5-15 December. The event, termed "Days of littoral Mauritania", is to focus on communicating the region's special qualities and dangers, but also on resolving cultural, scientific and institutional matters.

The "Days of littoral Mauritania" are organised by the Ministry of the Fisheries and Maritime Economy, IUCN and other organisations. The massive event aims at "establishing a dialogue extended to all actors interested in coastal planning" in order to create a framework acceptable to all stakeholders but still protecting the zone's fragile environment and local cultures.

The communication activities and the campaign have programmed to gradually focus on the attention of decision makers, institutions and a large audience from littoral Mauritania, according to IUCN.

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