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Development of the Bijagós Archipelago - Guinea Bissau

Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA)

AfriqueGuinea-BissauArchipel des Bijagós (Guinée-Bissau)


Just a few minutes by boat from the coast of Guinea-Bissau, the Bijagós archipelago, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is one of the most beautiful natural and cultural sites on the planet. This island zone, cut by inlets, features a variety of environments that are home to exceptional biodiversity. This mosaic of habitats is home to a remarkable array of flora and fauna, including rare marine and terrestrial species, some of which are in danger of extinction, and threatened species protected by international treaties.

For some years now, the area has been seen as a favorable site for the development of seaside and cultural tourism, as well as being an attractive location for certain economic activities. These development prospects, if poorly managed, could have an impact on sacred sites, habitats and species, as well as populations threatened by expropriation, over-fishing and irresponsible development of the archipelago.

Faced with the environmental and social risks that could be generated by development prospects, it was decided to carry out a Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) of the Archipelago's development activities. The purpose of this assessment is to integrate environmental considerations into future development policies, plans and programs, and to evaluate their interactions with economic considerations.

Concertation pour le développement de l’Archipel des Bijagós l'archipel
Carte de travail en concertation
Sacs en toile de jute

& Services

BRL ingénierie carried out the following tasks, mobilizing field investigations, consultations and proven assessment methods:

  • Analysis of the legal and institutional framework of environmental and social management for the development of the Archipelago's economic and geo-ecological zoning;
  • Analysis of policies, plans, programs and projects related to the development of the Archipelago's economic and geo-ecological zoning;
  • Description of the baseline environmental, economic and socio-cultural situation in the study area;
  • Identification, analysis and assessment of the archipelago's environmental and social issues;
  • Definition and comparative analysis of development scenarios and zoning for the Archipelago;
  • Identification, analysis and assessment of the potential risks and effects of the selected archipelago zoning;
  • Analyze the scope and nature of cumulative effects;
  • Definition of mitigation and optimization measures for identified environmental and social issues;
  • Assessment and reinforcement of capacities to manage environmental and social issues at local and national levels.
  • Training sessions on international SESA frameworks and the study's recommendations.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDD) of the United Nations

14 - Life below water15 - Life on land11 - Sustainable cities and communities
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