Exploring Socio-Economic Trends in the Western Indian Ocean

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The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) is exceptionally rich in biodiversity, and supports some of our most productive and valuable ecosystems, providing resources and benefits for communities, as well as an ever-growing and diverse mix of users and industries. It has been central to the development agenda of coastal countries, having been positioned as a salve, or a solution to various social and economic struggles being faced by coastal nations. 
The economic benefits of developing a "Blue Economy" agenda have been the primary focus of policies and discussions; specifically, the opportunities available to governments and businesses to use the ocean and its resources to stabilise economies, encourage economic growth, provide jobs, and increase employment rates through supporting existing and emerging maritime industries such as fishing, ports, and shipping, as well as the emerging industries of biotechnologies, ocean-based renewable energies, mariculture, and more.
As a result, human activity in many economic sectors and the effects of climate change are putting increasing strain on the marine environment. Because of rapid urbanisation, coastward migration, and socioeconomic development, most WIO coastal countries are experiencing dramatic changes in their coastal regions, where a large proportion of the population resides.

The storymap below is an interactive tool will allow stakeholders to visualize and explore the complex dynamics between human activities, population dynamics, and the preservation of coastal and marine ecosystems. The storymap presents information on challenges, providing valuable insights into the emerged socio-economic trends in the WIO over time.

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