Benin micro-congress: underwater breakwater creates biodiversity and economic growth

In early 2018, the government of Benin commissioned us to build a 5km-long underwater breakwater parallel to the coastal town of Avlékété. This project, inspired by natural coral reefs, ensures that waves from the Atlantic Ocean still reach the coast, but with less energy. This way, we can protect the coastal strip and increase the tourism value of the Benin coast. Today, three years after completion of the underwater breakwater in Benin, we can acknowledge the positive impact of this project in terms of ecotourism. Thanks to the construction of the breakwater, the Avlékété region has the potential to become a favourite destination for nature lovers and environmentally conscious ecotourists. During a micro-conference in Benin last Wednesday, several institutes involved explained their findings related to this project.

Microcongress in Benin: research institutes explain results

Around the breakwater, we conducted an extensive study to map biodiversity. Research was carried out in the vicinity of the project on the various fish species present, life on the seabed and on the rocks of the breakwater.

During a micro-conference in Benin on Wednesday 26 June, the various research institutes involved came to present their studies, findings and results. A large number of key stakeholders such as the artisanal fishermen's federation, ministry of environment and living environment, various NGOs, tourism agency, prefect maritime Benin and the various press visited the micro-congress. The stakeholders involved welcomed the results positively.

In short, it confirms the rich diversity of marine organisms and underlines the importance of preserving this thriving ecosystem.

We conducted this research in collaboration with the Benin Institute for Fisheries and Oceanological Research (IRHOB), the University of Abomey-Calavi's Laboratory of Hydrobiology and Wetland Research and the Belgian Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Research (ILVO).

Breakwater creates development in terms of biodiversity and economy

The studies have thus confirmed that the construction of the underwater breakwater in Avlékété has not only helped improve the ecosystem, but also has the potential to transform the region into a dynamic ecotourism centre. Benin's underwater wave breakwater combines environmental conservation with economic development to ensure a sustainable future for future generations.