UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in collaboration with the United Nations Environment programme (UNEP) organized a virtual workshop on the challenges of managing the seaweed Sargassum, that is currently a menace in West Africa, on 22 September 2020.

The workshop focused on the ecology of sargassum and its impact on the environment, clean-up technologies and management systems, utilization of sargassum, and socio-economic impacts including impacts on livelihoods. Leading experts from some of the affected countries in West Africa, namely Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone made presentations on sargassum challenges and responses, potential uses and impacts. UNESCO shared its experience in the Caribbean, where it is developing a region-wide information and forecasting system for sargassum, and a guide on best management practices for sargassum events in the coastal waters.

To this end, the GEO Blue Planet Initiative, in collaboration with IOCARIBE of IOC-UNESCO, AtlantOS, the Atlantic International Research (AIR) Center and other partners, have developed a sargussum information hub to provide centralized access to information and tools for the monitoring and management of sargassum blooms. Find additional information about this initiative in the Sargassum Information Hub.