Coastal lagoons of West Africa: a scoping study of environmental status and management challenges

Katherine Sian Davies-Vollum, Debadayita Raha, Daniel Koomson

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Lagoons are a major coastal environment in West Africa. They provide a plethora of resources, ecosystem services and economic benefits yet a diverse set of inter connected stressors are a challenge to their sustainability. A scoping study of the published literature pertaining to lagoons within the region was undertaken to reveal the nature of these stressors and identify gaps in knowledge, providing a resource to inform coastal management practices and reveal areas for future study. Thirty-one lagoons were identified from the scoping exercise covering Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia and Senegal. The DAPSI(W)R(M) framework was used to structure analysis of the literature and surface key environmental themes. Key drivers and activities established are the use of lagoon resources and expansion of lagoon settlements. The resultant identified pressures are waste, overuse of resources, and urban growth as well as climate change. Resultant stage changes are the degradation of water quality and ecosystems with impacts for the health of lagoon organisms and humans. Responses to changes were identified as a combination of punitive legislation, participatory management approaches and solutions focused on ecosystem restoration and engineering of the physical environment. Gaps identified include research on waste and aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Also notable is a lack of multi- and interdisciplinary studies that address the inter connecting stressors experienced at lagoons and studies of multiple lagoons. Studies also tend to be problem-focused with solutions rarely presented, limiting their applicability to inform management practices
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnthropocene Coasts
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2024


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