Basse Vallée de l'Ouémé, Lagune de Porto-Novo, Lac Nokoué

Hotel Chez Raphael dans le village lacustre de Ganvie. Zone touristique dans le site Ramsar 1018
Plaine inondable de la riviere So dans la Commune de So-Ava. Site d'accueil des oiseaux d'eau migrateurs
Zone du Lac Nokoue investie par la Jacinthe d'eau. On peut noter aussi sur la photo l'installation des filets pour la capture des poissons

Basse Vallée de l'Ouémé, Lagune de Porto-Novo, Lac Nokoué

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    652,760 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    06°45'N 02°24'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


The Site in southern Benin was extended in 2018, from the original area of 91,600 hectares designated in 2001, to cover 652,760 ha. In addition to the lower stretch of the Ouémé valley, the Site now covers a marine area, a lagoon complex, the swamp of Adjarra, and the middle Ouémé valley. This Site and Ramsar Site no. 1017 “Basse Vallée du Couffo, Lagune Côtiere, Chenal Aho, Lac Ahémé” now cover the entire coast of Benin, forming a vast and important complex of wetlands. The Site is composed of various ecosystems including swamp forest, flooded prairies, reeds, floating vegetation, and mangrove. It is home to more than 200 plant species, including threatened species or varieties such as Mansonia altissima var. altissima. The diverse fauna of the site includes: eight primates including the red-bellied monkey (Cercopithecus erythrogaster); more than 80 fish species; aquatic mammals such as Trichechus senegalensis; 18 reptile species; and at least four turtle species including the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) which nests on the Site. There are around 215 bird species, many found at Lac Nokoué, which is an Important Bird Area (IBA-BJ004). The presence of sacred forests adds a social and cultural value to the Site. Human uses include fishing by over 20,000 fishers, logging, agricultural production, and food gathering. However, the over-exploitation of natural resources and land conversion threaten the ecological character. The Site has a management plan and some conservation activities are being implemented.

Administrative region: 
Sur le plan administratif, le site 1018 se trouve à cheval sur cinq départements à savoir : Littoral, Atlantique, Ouémé, Plateau et Zou.

  • National legal designation: 
    • Forêt classée - Lama
    • Forêt communuataire et sacrée - Bamèzoun, Bêhoungbé, Gnahouizoun, Togbota, Codjizoun
    • Forêt protégée - Niaouli, Pobè
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents