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Other international waters projects in the early stages of development relate to managing regional fisheries in West Africa, and designing oil spill contingency plans in the West Indian Ocean. One notable example or rapid urbanization is the urban community of 50 million inhabitants being created on the coastal zone between Abidjan and Lagos in West Africa. Biodiversity Conservation A number of the region's biodiversity projects share an approach to participatory community management of areas needing biodiversity conservation, many of which span national borders.

Meeting the Challenges Sustainable development in this rapidly changing region has become an imperative, and must take place in the complex context of diverse and changing ecosystems, political transitions and evolution toward market economies. Last August, the Banks regional team collaborated with a broad spectrum of participants from African countries to develop Toward Environmentally Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan AfricaA World Bank Perspective 1, an agenda for action which builds the Bank's assistance strategy around the region's major environmental challenges: · achieving food security through sustainable agricultural intensification; · facilitating a demographic transition to a more stable population level; · influencing migration toward a better population distribution, especially in sensitive areas; · making urbanization sustainable by improving planning and services; · managing energy, water, and other natural resources in an integrated fashion; and · hastening Africa's development of modern education, information, and communication systems.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF BANK-FINANCED PROJECTS All Bank projects are screened for potential environmental impacts. Those expected to have adverse impacts that may be sensitive and irreversible are assigned to category A and subject to a full environmental assessment. Category B projects are those whose impacts are expected to be less significant; they are subject to some environmental analysis. Category C projects are not expected to have any negative environmental impacts. Among the investment projects approved over the past year, 20 (8 percent) were classified as category A; 98 (39 percent) were classified as category B; and the remaining 133 (53 percent) were classified as category C.

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