Union of the Comoros

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					  Union of the Comoros

Praia, Cape Verde September 1-5, 2003
General Facts
       Union of the Comoros:
       Grande Comore        1,025 Km2
       Anjouan               424 Km2
       Moheli                 211Km2
       Mayotte                380Km
       Capital: Moroni
       Religion: Islam
       Official languages: Comorian,
                 French and Arabic
       Population (2001): 583 222
                  General Facts
• The Comoros is an LDC with a GDP of $ 360
• 71% of the population is rural
• Agricultural work employs 77% of the labour force
• The main export items are essence oils from Ylang-Ylang and
  spices, vanilla and cloves
• Fishery is also a source of income but still practiced in a
  traditional way
• There are about 470 endemic species on the Islands
• The Comoros has signed or ratified all UN Treaties and
  Conventions related to the protection of the environment
  Main Environmental Problems
• Erosion and deforestation
• Extinction of the rare fauna and flora causing reduction in
• Depletion of sources
• Fragilisation of the coastal zone
• Erosion of the coasts due to lifting of sand and corals for
• Rising health risks
• Uncontrolled urbanisation
• Extended droughts
• Rising sea levels and scarcity of underground water
     Actions Implemented by the
    Government for Environmental
• Despite the recent political turmoil, the Comorian Government has
  emphasised its activities on protecting the environment
• After the Barbados Conference, several initiatives were taken:
• The Government created the General Management of the
  Environment as part of the Ministry of Production and the
• The Regional Services for the Environment
• Introduction of National Environmental Politics and an
  Environmental Plan of Action
• Initiative for an Information System
• Creation of a Marine Park Conservation area in the island of Moheli
• Creation of a Biodiversity Database (www.biodiversite-comoros.org)
• Setting up of a Conservation programme for Marine Turtles
                Current Actions
1.   Governmental
       •   The General Management of the Environment has been
           changed into the National Management of the Environment
           and Sustainable Development and National Commission
           for Sustainable Development has been created
       •   A national communication has been initiated on the climate
           changing issues
2.   Regional
       •   Regional Commissions for Sustainable Development have
           been set up on each island
       •   Independent agencies have been created to commence the
           national environmental politics
                    Current Actions
3. Conservation
        •      Creation of a National Park on Mount Karthala
        •      Setting up schemes to protect the Coelacanth and the
               Livingstone bats in their natural habitats
        •      A program to conserve natural forests
4. Pollution
        •      Programs to monitor the coral reefs and to follow the
               ecotoxity levels in the marine environment have been set
        •      Regional programs to fight against the dumping of carbon
               hydrogen in the sea have been created
        •      A Convention on Organic Pollutant products has been set
                Current Situation
• Geology
   – The landscape is very fertile due to the volcanic soils
   – The landscape is variable which should be taken into account in
     the conservation of natural resources
• Hydrology
   – Problems with the distribution of water
   – No reserves for collecting used water
   – Polluted water is regenerated into the ground waters
• Biodiversity
   – The potential biodiversity is not yet well known thus not well
     guarded and badly protected
               Current Situation
• Agriculture and its Pressure on Natural Resources
   – The archipelago has been modified by natural phenomenon
   – Today’s agricultural techniques are extensive but not well
     adapted to the current needs of the population and the natural
     erosion of the soils
   – Coral and sand from the costal areas have been used for
     construction purposes, this has weakened the naturally fragile
     costal ecosystems
   – Production of wood for construction and heating has destroyed
     the forests
   – The erosion of soils is a serious matter, especially along the
              Current Situations
• Emissions
   – The lack of emission control systems and sewage removal
• Pollution
   – Natural
      • Cyclones and volcanic eruptions
   – Human related
      • Oil spills
      • Sewage dumping
• NGOs
   – Are the mains means in protecting the environment
                   MDGs GOALS
The Major Challenges
•    Eradication of Poverty and Economic Growth
        •    The strategy is to work closely with different departments and the
             local communities and the Bretton Woods Institutions and other
             partners for development
•    Demographic Growth
        •    With an annual population growth rate of 2.7%, it will be
             impossible to reduce poverty
        •    The quality of life should be raised and all children should be
             assured primary education
        •    HIV/Aids and malaria should be fought
•    Economic growth
        •    To attain that objective the GNP should be raised to 2,9% per
        •    For the period 1990-2001 was -1,2%
• The target to eradicate poverty by 2015 can be achieved if the GNP
  could be raised until 2,9% per habitant during the period 1990-2015,
  but this looks impossible
• The main concern is to get the educated population remain in the
  country and launch an economic development agenda of the
• A large number of sights and scenery will disappear in the near future
  if urgent actions are not taken
• New ways need to be created since educations systems have been
  having problems and the literacy rate is 61%
• Coral and sand have been used as traditional materials for
  construction, other environmentally friendly materials need to be
• Food products are being imported, when some could be grown
              What can be Done?
• Environment issues and conservation are new concepts for the
  Comorian population, capacity building, education awareness
  campaigns need to be set up to help get local populations interested
  and involved
• Introduction of Youth programs are needed to educate and train them
• Prevention of the use of the degrading natural resources and
  introduction of renewable energy
• Recycling needs to be introduced
• To grow more commonly used crops instead of importing
 The Karthala Crater
The largest in the world