Green infrastructure issues and opportunities in west african countries: case study of CIED in Benin
The complex ecosystem formed by Lake Aheme, coastal lagoon Onkuihoue-Togbin and Channel Aho with its wide diversity of historical sites and biodiversity serves as a background for the recent green infrastructure program known as CIED in South Benin. The green infrastructure program integrated five cities consisting of Grand Popo, Come, Kpomasse, Ouidah and Abomey-Calavi. Green infrastructure itself in the context of African developing countries especially in West Africa presents both challenges and opportunities that have not been fully evaluated yet. Through a qualitative research methodology, this paper investigates the specificity of the green infrastructure program in South Benin based on the key issues and opportunities related to the case of CIED. The very nature of CIED’s ecosystem which is primarily formed with water bodies and heritage sites has led to four identified key opportunities, namely, connectivity, access and recreation, conservation wildlife habitat and species, landscape heritage and environmental services.