The Marine Regions Forum 2023, hosted by Tanzania and Seychelles in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, served as a collaborative platform for experts to exchange knowledge on ocean governance. The forum aimed to enhance cooperation and coordination, emphasizing practical strategies for sustainable practices.
- Tackling the Triple Planetary Crisis: Addressed climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Discussed warming in the WIO, circular economy for marine plastics, LMMAs, NbS, and AI in maritime transparency.
- Fostering a Sustainable Blue Economy: Explored economic growth while emphasizing sustainability. Discussed responsible ocean resource utilization, MSP, international cooperation mechanisms, and the role of the private sector.
- Implementing Global Goals at the Regional Level: Focused on achieving global goals regionally, addressing initiatives like the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, plastic pollution, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’s BBNJ Treaty, and deep-sea mining negotiations.
Regional Ocean Governance: The Conference explored the roles of diverse entities in WIO ocean governance, discussing the development and significance of the Nairobi Convention’s Regional Ocean Governance Strategy.
The opening session emphasized regional cooperation, science-based development, and EU support.
The plenaries focused on building shared understanding, inclusivity, and innovation in ocean governance.
- Private Sector Engagement: Explored the private sector’s impact on the blue economy, highlighting successful initiatives for local communities and conservation.
- Circular Economy for Plastic Pollution: Emphasized circular economy approaches, including scalable technologies for waste recycling.
- Financing Sustainable Practices: Explored the private sector’s role in financing sustainability, advocating blended finance approaches.
- Global Environmental Commitments: Addressed the relevance of global agreements, plastic pollution treaty, and deep-sea mining regulations.
- Plastic Pollution Solutions: Discussed ending plastic pollution, exploring alternatives, and stressing industry responsibility.
- High Seas Biodiversity Conservation: Explored biodiversity in Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and high seas, emphasizing the BBNJ (High Seas) Treaty.
- Regional Ocean Governance: Discussed the participatory development of ROGS, sharing challenges and best practices.
In the concluding session, representatives highlighted the application of new technologies and tools, data-driven solutions, and the importance of youth voices. The Conference speakers and participants acknowledged challenges, and expressed optimism for sustainable solutions, emphasizing on the significance of regional participation and ocean literacy.