Building on the Rationale and Mandate for a Regional Ocean Governance Strategy provided by the African Ministers Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in 2015, the following more recent actions have been taken:
The entire process of developing the ROGS is expected to take up to 18 months, with the aim of putting the ROGS before the next Nairobi Convention COP for adoption, towards the end of 2023.The onward development of the Strategy involves three closely linked activities to develop regional consensus:
- Stakeholder engagement and consultation to develop a consensus vision and Strategy content
- Preparation of working papers and Technical Sector Dialogues to develop Strategy content
- Decision making and approval
The Support Team will actively support the Task Force in the above areas, focused on capacity building for stakeholder engagement and consultation design; on preparation of working papers and Technical Sector Dialogues; and on linking the process back to decision-making and approval at the COP. The process will be transparent with working papers, dialogue and consultation results, meeting reports, and draft proposals made publicly available.
The process architecture below will be adapted in consultation with the Task Force, and respond to higher-level decisions, as appropriate:
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Stakeholder engagement and consultation processes
Identifying Regional Stakeholders
For several reasons, the process focuses on regional institutions as the primary stakeholders. This is because, firstly, the guidance from the Nairobi Convention COP10 specifies the need to work through and with existing institutions. Secondly, national stakeholder policies and concerns are largely identified and prioritised through regional (or African) institutions and processes. Thirdly, the resources available for the Strategy development process are limited and require clear targeting on regional issues which have already been identified and contribute to strengthening relationships between existing regional institutions.
In order to create space for stakeholder inputs and consultation, the following arrangements will be adapted to stakeholder needs.
A Multi-Stakeholder ROGS Task Force for Collectively Leading the Process
As of June 2022, a multi-stakeholder Task Force (TF) comprising both state and non-state country representatives (including private sector, academia, and civil society) and representatives of the RECs, the AU and relevant regional Commissions has been established as an inclusive forum for stakeholder dialogue and collaboration. The TF is established under the NC and the NC Secretariat will provide technical and logistic support. This will include preparation of working papers, organization of Technical Sector Dialogues, and preparation of draft proposals on the Strategy, communications products, translations, and other services as may be required.
The Collective Leadership Institute (CLI) has supported the initial convening of the TF and will offer a series of Collective Leadership Workshops and Integration Webinars based on its core methodologies of the Collective Leadership Compass and the Dialogic Change Model. These interactive events seek to enhance individual capacity for leading collectively; to anchor a culture of collaboration in the TF; and to concretely support the TF in co-designing participatory stakeholder engagement and dialogue approaches and events that support development of a ROGS that is high quality, viable, and collectively owned.
Clusters and Platforms
Three “clusters” have been agreed by the TF to group priority ocean governance sectors and related stakeholder consultations in a manageable format:
- Sustainable Blue Economy and Marine Security
- Environment and Natural Resources
- Science and Knowledge
The Task Force has organized itself into three corresponding Cluster Teams and a knowledge and communications platform has been established for each cluster. The TF may also establish ad-hoc working groups to address cross-cutting issues and linkages between the clusters. The clusters and related stakeholder dialogues are described here.
Preparation of working papers and Technical Sector Dialogues
The objective of the working papers and related Technical Sector Dialogues is to build stakeholder consensus on key issues and sustainable institutional arrangements to support the Strategy. The ROGS Support Team, with leadership from the NCS, will help organize these stakeholder dialogues and engagement in several ways, including:
- Preparation of publicly available working papers, briefs, options papers and other materials for the Task Force.
- Organization and moderation of a series of online Technical Sector Dialogues on priority issues for developing Strategy content.
- Support of the Task Force in organizing focused stakeholder consultations that may take place in-person or online (contingent on COVID-19 protocols and resources) for developing Strategy content.
- Support of the Task Force in conducting additional stakeholder interviews and surveys for developing Strategy content.
- Communication products for disseminating key consensus messages around ocean governance.
Decision making and approval of the Strategy
As the Strategy development process is hosted by the Nairobi Convention, the NC COP will endorse the outcomes. Furthermore, in order to ensure that the outcomes are consistent with existing parallel AU/AMCEN processes and adequately reflect the positions of the RECs and the IOC, the process establishes a formal exchange on views- on all substantive outputs. All steps will be taken to ensure a consensus on the Strategy among these key stakeholders. It is anticipated that the Strategy will also be presented to AMCEN and will help inform similar regional ocean governance efforts.
Resources supporting the process
A wide range of resources will contribute to the development of the Strategy:
1. The main resources supporting the process that will be made available through the Nairobi Convention Secretariat and partners include:
- The GEF-funded SAPPHIRE project
- The GEF-funded WIOSAP project
- The Western Indian Ocean Governance Initiative project (WIOGI; BMZ-financed)
2. Regional organizations and institutions are expected to engage with the process:
- through inclusion of an additional Strategy agenda item in their regular meetings
- by providing technical support in the preparation and review of working papers and briefs in their respective areas of expertise
- through participation in dialogues on sustainable working relationships with other sectors and regional institutions.
3. In-kind support is also anticipated from projects which benefit from international or bilateral support.