The “Communication and Reference Tools Kit” on the Marine Protected Areas in West Africa is the result of the collaboration between Oceanium and ACC Communication Agency under the supervision of the MAVA Foundation within the framework of the project “Management of West African Marine and Coastal Biodiversity through the reinforcement of Conservation and Monitoring Initiatives in MPAs (Bicos)”, funded by the French Fund for the World Environment (FFWE).

After an initial conference held in Dakar in January 2015 that brought together more than a dozen stakeholders from different West African countries, a major effort was launched to collect, process, analyze and share the various communication and sensitization tools that were available in the various marine protected areas (MPAs) in actions undertaken by the various organizations, associations, and institutions. You will find in this Tool Kit numerous methodological worksheets, the various domains of intervention as it concerns communication and sensitization tools, examples of practical case studies, and responses to various questions, for example: “What are the challenges involved with community outreach? What are the targets and objectives? How to communicate via a website? How to prepare for a radio interview? How to communicate via video?” and many others.

The worksheets, which are available in English, French and Portuguese, will make it possible to conservators/conservationists to have this information on methodology and research to evaluate current practices as well as serve as examples to inspire others based on the different things their colleagues in other MPAs in West Africa doing in order to maximize their efforts for increased sensitization and communication.

Finally, this “Communications Tools Kit” demonstrates the passion and commitment of the various stakeholders in the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of West Africa, from Mauritania to Sierra Leone, from Cape Verde, Senegal, Gambia to Guinea Bissau and Guinea. Our hope is that the richness of the accumulated experiences, the successes noted as well as the failures and lessons learned, will be of service to future conservators and stakeholders in the Marine Protected Areas here and elsewhere.

Jean-Christophe Henry
National Coordinator
In charge of “Communication Tools Kit Reference” Project
Oceanium Dakar

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