At the invitation of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), IUCN experts presented their case on Investing in Natural Infrastructure for Sustainable Development, leading to the adoption of a new resolution during the 33rd session of the NBA Council of Ministers.
The Niger Basin Authority (or Autorité du Bassin du Niger) is an intergovernmental organisation in West Africa aiming to foster co-operation in managing and developing the resources of the Niger River Basin.
Through IUCN's West Africa Environmental Governance Partnership (PAGE), Mr Awaiss gave a presentation on the importance of goods and services rendered by natural ecosystems. Based on the IUCN Water briefing 'Investing in Ecosystems as Water Infrastructure' [download PDF], this action comes under the advocacy process initiated by PAGE for the conservation of ecosystems and their consideration as «natural infrastructure», vital for achieving sustainable development.
With this contribution, the Council of Ministers deliberated on and adopted the resolution proposed by IUCN. This will lead to the preparation of a development plan of the Niger basin wetlands in conjunction with IUCN and in cooperation with the Ramsar Secretariat. The plan will be drafted in the course of 2015 in order to be incorporated in the NBA's work programme.