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close this bookSustaining the Future: Economic, Social, and Environmental Change in Sub-Saharan Africa (UNU, 1996, 365 pages)
close this folderPart 2: Environmental issues and futures
close this folderThe coastal zone and oceanic problems of Sub-Saharan Africa
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe value of the coastal zone and oceans
View the documentThe main problems and their causes
View the documentRemedies
View the documentReferences

Introduction

The coastal zone and oceans surrounding Sub-Saharan Africa, with their vast resources of food, energy, and minerals, not only are composed of various fragile ecosystems, but are scenes of a variety of often conflicting uses. At present, the uncontrolled development of the coastal zone and ocean and the almost haphazard exploitation of their natural resources threaten to turn the promise of economic prosperity into an environmental nightmare that portends great dangers for present and future generations. There is the urgent need to put in place national management policies that address the environmental controls and procedures to be applied in pursuit of economic development. However, the oceans have no physical boundaries corresponding to national jurisdiction and problems originating from one country easily become those of another. Consequently, although it is recognized that remedies should be effected at the national level, such remedies should be undertaken in the framework of and as part of wider regional and global agreements and policies aimed at the sustainable development of the entire coastal and ocean environment.