The West African (WA) coast is a low-lying coastal area with flourishing and functioning ecosystems with multiple ecosystem services. But growing population (where 31% WA population live in the coastal areas) and economic activities in the form of often-unplanned urbanization and over-exploitation of natural resources, coupled with climate change are putting pressure on the West African coastal ecosystems. As a result, the WA coastal areas are undergoing increasing coastal erosion, flooding, sea-level rise, and pollution leading to deaths, loss of assets, and damages to critical ecosystems and their resources. A major finding from a regional study informs about risks related to future coastal urban concentrations and associated population growth, and economic and infrastructure development in the changing climate. Therefore, the ability to anticipate and strategically plan and manage the WA coastal areas’ development is crucial. To meet the urgent need to protect the WA coastal areas from climate change impacts, the West African Coastal Areas Program (WACA) was developed by the World Bank (WB).

This program supports the establishment of the WA Coastal Regional Observatory (WARCO) and the WA Coastal Master Plan (SDLAO), which involves 12 countries (From Mauritania to Nigeria). These initiatives constitute an environment of institutional and policy partners that is favorable to the development of an international research project like WACA-VAR (West African Coastal Areas- mapping Vulnerability, Adaptability and Resilience in a changing climate), which has been designed in close consultation with the WB and WARCO. The objective of WACA-VAR is to provide reliable and up-to-date information, shared and made available to the different levels of decision-making in order to improve the strategic quality of decisions related to the development, occupation, and conservation of the coastal zones of WA. For this reason, the WACAVAR program is established to carry out interdisciplinary studies on a set of areas, to share methods and data within the WA scientific communities, and to develop innovative solutions adapted for West African coastal areas. In addition, it will build human capacity in coastal risk and resilience research and expertise in West Africa, including through graduate programs in coastal management offered by selected West African universities.


  • Institutions étrangères impliquées
    • Bénin : Université d’Abomey Calavi, Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin
    • Cameroun : Université de Douala, Institut des Sciences Halieutiques
    • Côte d’Ivoire : Université de Nangui Abrogoua, Laboratoire d'Environnnement et de Biologie Aquatiques
    • Ghana : University of Cape Coast, African Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience
    • Nigeria : Federal University of Technology Akure, Department of Marine Science and Technology
    • Sénégal : Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), Gestion Intégrée et Développement Durable du Littoral Ouest Africain


  • Unités impliquées
  • Responsable du projet


  • Disciplines

    Géomorphologie, Géophysique, Océanographie, Ecologie, Télédétection, Sciences halieutiques, Economie, Géographie

  • Mots-clés

    Vulnérabilité côtière ; changement climatique ; science de la durabilité ; résilience et capacité d'adaptation ; développement des capacités humaines


Période : 2023-2026