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Preserving the Coast of West Africa: How Can Your Private Company Help and Benefit? Engaging the Private Sector on Coastal and Marine Preservation

As populations in West Africa grow and migrate to the urban areas of coastal regions, the coastal environments come under increasing threat. The ecological and environmental services offered by the coastal environment are essential to support the increasing coastal communities and to maintain the vibrant and economically significant fishing, tourist, agricultural, energy and oil industries. However, the importance of preserving these environments goes well beyond the economic profits generated by key coastal sectors as the effects of damaged ecosystems are felt in many economic sectors including those that have no obvious link to coastal activities. The lack of improved management for cleaner production and consumption patterns, illegal construction and pollution can accentuate the phenomena of erosion and natural coastal degradation.Faced with these challenges, the private sector can take action and preserve the local coastal environment while contributing to sustainable economic growth.