National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) - Union of Comoros

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Given the importance of the marine ecosystem, the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) countries with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) participated in the implementation of the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem (ASCLME) project. This project involved generation of data and information that can be used for the protection and sustainable management of coastal and marine resources of the WIO sub region. The Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) of Comoros thus forms an important basis for the country’s contribution towards the process of preparation of the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) for the WIO Region. The national process of data collection and analysis provided information on the biophysical processes that defines the large marine ecosystems and identified the specific issues that eventually fed into the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) as well as the Strategic Action Programme (SAP).

The GEF WIO-LaB project implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme and GEF SWIOFP implemented by the World Bank carried out in parallel also provided data and information relevant to the preparation of the regional Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis and the Strategic Action Programmes. These projects identified policy, legal and institutional reforms and investments required to address the transboundary issues that are considered to of high regional priority.

The ASCLME Project provided the Comoros with a great opportunity to generate data and information its coastal and marine environment which is has been poorly studied in the past. The project also enabled Comoros to analyse its legal and institutional frameworks as well as explore strategies for rational and sustainable management of marine resources which are of immense socio-economic importance. The management of the coastal and marine ecosystems in Comoros are facing a number of challenges not only because of their biological richness, but also because of their important role in the national economy and food security. The potential of the coastal and marine ecosystems in the provision of various goods and services is threatened by over-exploitation, land-based pollution and discharge of waste from marine transport.

The MEDA is a national contribution to the multinational Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses (TDA) -Strategic Action Programme (SAP) process, and was funded and supported by the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems Project (which is funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme).

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