On 28 to 29 March 2019, the Nairobi Convention Secretariat gathered representatives from the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) and other states, NGOs, and academics in Tanzania to take stock of the progress made in the region in the adoption of MSP at both policy and on-ground implementation for enhanced sustainable management of coastal and marine resources.
Representatives from the region and beyond shared their experiences in MSP. Find some updates and recommendations below.
Shared Experiences and Status of MSP in the Region:
Representatives of Sweden and Djibouti shared their lessons learned on MSP application. Djibouti noted that using a partnership approach to MSP allowed all stakeholders to have ownership of the plan and develop mutual trust and understanding of the main problem and challenges. Sweden noted that developing draft plans prior to formal consultation helps create commitment and preparation for stakeholder consultations. The Nature Conservancy, meanwhile, recommended creating spatial databases that are robust and can adapt alongisde the MSP.
Kenya, Mozambique, Mauritius, South Africa, Seychelles, and Tanzania all shared updates on their applications of MSP:
- Kenya is preparing its draft MSP road map, which will include plans to implement MSP projects in pilot areas. The road map will also formulate recommendations for national and local MSP integration.
- Mozambique is negotiating the Terms of Reference of its National MSP Plan and hopes to capitalize on MSP opportunities during its “Growing Blue” Conference in May 2019. The conference aims to create a Global Call for Action for implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and promote integrated development of Blue Economy initiatives in the region.
- Mauritius has been advancing MSP in key maritime sectors such as port infrastructure, shipping, tourism, seafood, fisheries, aquaculture and marine renewable energy to strengthen its economic diversification. Mauritius has set up an MSP Coordinating Committee and formed a Working Group on SDG 14, which is identifying Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) that will help them achieve the goal of conserving at least ten per cent of their coastal and marine areas by 2020.
- Seychelles and Mauritius have also established a Joint Management Area over an expanse of seabed in the Mascarene Plateau Region. Seychelles also has an Executive Committee, Steering Committee, and Technical Groups devoted to MSP and has committed to protect up to 30 per cent, or 400,000 square kilometers, of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). A Marine Spatial Plan report will be released in 2020.
- South Africa, whose National Assembly passed an MSP bill in 2018, will now be developing its first Marine Area Plan and an approach to its zoning plan under Operation Phakisa. As part of the process, the country declared 20 new MPAs last year, thus making remarkable progress towards achievement of its SDG 14.5 Target.
- Tanzania is conducting a coastal and marine dataset study and developing a “Geonode Platform”, which will help update its Spatial Data and Environmentally Sensitive Area maps.
Lessons Learned and Challenges of MSP:
Participants discussed thematic challenges and recommendations for MSP throughout the workshop. Find some recommendations below:
- Make a high-level policy decision that includes clear directives, goals and objectives.
- Establish an institutional framework responsible for MSP with the appropriate legal mandate and authority (to avoid sector-based approaches to the process).
- Develop funding, personnel, and technical capacity, as well as regional partnerships.
- Strengthen national lead data centers and develop an agreed mechanism to contribute transboundary data to a shared platform.
Based on the outcomes of the discussions, governments and partners asked the Nairobi Convention Secretariat to lead in the development of a Regional MSP strategy and establishment of a MSP technical working group.
To see presentations from the workshop, click here.
Supporting effective MSP in the region is closely linked to the Nairobi Convention’s two main projects, SAPPHIRE and WIOSAP. These outcomes correspond with those of WIOSAP’s to a)Develop marine spatial plans for at least five priority coastal and marine zones and associated capacity building; and b) create tools and methodologies—which integrate economic, social and environmental considerations—to support coastal planning and management. The workshop’s outcomes also relate to SAPPHIRE’s Outcomes 1.2, 4.2, and 5.1 regarding developing capacity for decision-making, improved ocean governance, and support for innovative management options in marine space.