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Strategic environmental assessment for planning mangrove ecosystems in guinea

Abstract

Located between the cities of Conackry, Dubréka and Boffa the Sangarea Bay is home to mangrove-type forests undergoing various forms of pressure. In 1992, a forest management plan was put into place in order to manage the resources. It aimed at promoting socioeconomic activities while keeping the mangrove ecosystem in balance. This plan was assessed in 1999. The results showed that even though it integrated environmental and economic objectives, it failed to include the social as well as cultural contexts and it did not involve the social actors in the decision process. Hence, the plan did not meet the expected results. Still today, the economic, environmental, social and cultural criteria and effective actor involvement in the resource management have to be taken into account to maintain the fragile balance of the Bay. This study is an attempt to include these criteria while opting for a new approach for a sustainable management of the resources of the Bay. This study is a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) based on the use of the multi-criteria decision tool in a context where there are several actors involved. Structuring objectives and issues at stake allows the criteria to be identified. Using the sociological data available simulated the value-system of each actor involved, and subsequently, they were all put into a model by giving various weights to the criteria. The SEA compares the existing plan (sector-wise approach) with alternative scenarios including an “integrated management plan” scenario (holistic approach), or “a complete protection of the area” scenario. The scenarios were assessed according to the quantitative and qualitative data available. The results illustrate how the multi-criteria method can be relevant as a decision tool when choosing a sustainable way to manage natural resources.

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Authors

Additional information

Karim Samoura is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Quebec at Montreal, and Director of SIFÉE (Francophone Secretariat for Impact Assessment). In addition, he is a member of the interdisciplinary Study group in geography and regional environment (GEIGER) and a member of CERESCOR (Research Group on Mangrove and Coastal Ecosystem in Africa). His research interests are in the area of coastal environment, multi-actor decision-making aid, especially in Africa.

Anne-Laure Bouvier is a member of the interdisciplinary study group in geography and regional environment (GEIGER) and a private environmental consultant. Her research interests are environmental impact assessments in the energy sector and the social impacts of natural resource projects (hydroelectricity, mining), as well as the use of sustainability assessments.

Jean-Philippe Waaub is professor at the Department of Geography, University of Quebec at Montreal, and member of the Interdisciplinary Research Group in Geography and Regional Environment (GEIGER). His research focuses mainly Strategic Environmental Assessment, decision aid tools applied to territorial and environmental management (multicriteria decision aid, ecological mapping, Integrated System for Decision Aid, Group Decision Support Systems) and techno-economic modeling of industrial systems in connection to climate change.

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Samoura, K., Bouvier, AL. & Waaub, JP. Strategic environmental assessment for planning mangrove ecosystems in guinea. Know Techn Pol 19, 77–93 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02914892

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02914892

Keywords

  • Public Participation
  • Integrate Management
  • Mangrove Ecosystem
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Integrate Management Plan