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Union of the Comoros. PRESENTATION ON THE MAIN NATIONAL PRIORITIES AT THE AIMS PREPARATORY MEETING ON THE BPoA+10 Praia, Cape Verde September 1-5, 2003. General Facts. Union of the Comoros: Grande Comore 1,025 Km 2 Anjouan 424 Km 2

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union of the comoros

Union of the Comoros


Praia, Cape Verde September 1-5, 2003

general facts
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 facts1
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
Main Environmental Problems
  • Erosion and deforestation
  • Extinction of the rare fauna and flora causing reduction in biodiversity
  • Depletion of sources
  • Fragilisation of the coastal zone
  • Erosion of the coasts due to lifting of sand and corals for construction
  • Rising health risks
  • Uncontrolled urbanisation
  • Extended droughts
  • Rising sea levels and scarcity of underground water resources
actions implemented by the government for environmental management
Actions Implemented by the Government for Environmental Management
  • 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 Environment
  • 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
Current Actions
  • 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
  • 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 actions1

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 up
  • 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 up
current situation
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 situation1
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 coastline
current situations
Current Situations
  • Emissions
    • The lack of emission control systems and sewage removal systems
  • 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 habitant
      • 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 Comoros
  • 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 introduced
  • Food products are being imported, when some could be grown locally
what can be done
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