Regional leaders have recognized that improved regional cooperation on oceans is important for addressing a wide range of regional challenges, including marine and coastal conservation, marine plastic pollution, climate change, response to disasters, such as oil spills or cyclones, and many more.
In the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), two high-level policy initiatives are guiding the process to improve this cooperation by developing a WIO Regional Ocean Governance Strategy, which are:
- In 2015 the African Union (AU) called for the development of an African Regional Ocean Governance Strategy through the Cairo Declaration of the African Ministers Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). Several technical meetings provide guidance on the form and content of the proposed strategy.
- In 2021, at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Nairobi Convention, the WIO countries requested the Nairobi Convention Secretariat (NCS) to support a participatory process to develop a regional ocean governance strategy consistent with any AU initiative and involving existing regional institutions and partners.