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Coastal Hazards in Africa (Virtual Edition)

Coastal Hazards in Africa (Virtual Edition)

Event date: 27-29 October 2020 / Durban, South Africa

Coastal hazards are currently a major concern for several reasons:

  • Coastal zones are complex, highly dynamic environments subjected to processes and interactions of different origins and intensities (marine, continental, biological, etc.);
  • About 70% of the world’s population lives within 60 km of the coast and all forecasts indicate that population migration towards the coast will continue. In addition, the main socio-economic activities are commonly concentrated in coastal zones;
  • A large proportion of the world’s coastline is eroding at rates ranging from centimetres to meters per year. At the same time, coastal zones are increasingly exposed to flooding that can result in significant damage.

Furthermore, the concentration of populations, economic activities, and transport systems in coastal zones render these environments highly vulnerable to pollution of all types, and potential hotspots for oil spills. African scientists and managers are particularly concerned by these hazards. Indeed, in addition to the concentration of major African cities on or near the coast, the socio-economic fragility of populations, and the lack of legal frameworks specific to coastal management render them even more vulnerable.


The purpose of this meeting is to bring together scientists and managers interested in African coastal zones in order to develop our understanding of these risks and hazards while considering the current state of coastal zones around Africa. Additionally, this meeting provides a platform to discuss and propose measures to address and manage these risks. 

Main Topics

​Erosion and coastal flooding hazards in Africa:

  • Coastal system dynamics (continental and marine influences);
  • Shoreline mobility (indicators, processes, coastal cliffs landslides, anthropogenic effects, Holocene, …);
  • Coastal flooding (sea levels, extreme events, sedimentary and historical archives, processes, …);
  • Climate change and risks of coastal erosion and flooding in Africa.

Pollution and oil spill risks

  • Land occupation and use in African coastal areas;
  • Water quality (marine and continental) and pollution in coastal areas;
  • Maritime traffic and oil spill risks in African coastal areas;
  • Anthropogenic loads and natural disasters in Africa: ecological sensitivity of coastal areas.

Coastal hazards management in Africa

  • Socioeconomic consequences;
  • Coastal facilities vs coastal risks;
  • Management (stakeholders, territories, public policies, decisions, regulations, networks): Examples from African countries;
  • GIS: Coastal systems planning and management tools;
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Maritime Spatial Planning: Examples of projects implemented in Africa (interdisciplinary, systemic approaches …).
  • Coastal and marine Early Warning and Decision Support Systems 

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The event’s programme is now available here.