States Agree on the Final Draft for the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Protocol
On 27 March 2019, Contracting Parties to the Nairobi Convention agreed on the final language for the ICZM Protocol. States had started discussing the protocol in 2012, and the meeting in Dar es Salaam marked the fourth round of negotiations on the text.
Some objectives of ICZM include promoting the sustainable use of resources; conserving the integrity and value of ecosystems, and preventing and mitigating the effects of natural and human threats to coastal and marine environments. The protocol provides a framework to promote regional and national ICZM and enhance cooperation for sustainable development in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region.
The protocol will now move to the Convention’s Conference of Plenipotentiaries for formal adoption.
Progress on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)
Policy makers and experts from WIO countries and other partners gathered in Tanzania from 28 to 29 March to take stock on the progress made in the region towards the application of MSP for sustainable management of coastal and marine resources.
Participants shared best practices and common challenges encountered in the application of MSP in the development process. Recommendations included the need for a high-level policy decision and an institution with a legal mandate and authority to implement MSP. National data centers should be strengthened and for states to agree to send transboundary data to a common repository. Gaps in existing national laws on MSP should be identified and bridged. Finally, capacity-building, through funding support, technical expertise, and regional partnerships will be critical to achieving strong MSP implementation.
Based on the outcomes of the discussion, governments and partners asked the Nairobi Convention Secretariat to develop a Regional MSP strategy and establish a MSP technical working group.
To see presentations from the workshop, click here.
Tanzania’s National Implementation Committee Meets to Review Projects Aimed at Reducing Stress on Marine and Coastal Ecosystems
The Nairobi Convention’s ‘Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the protection of the Western Indian Ocean from land-based sources and activities (WIOSAP)’ project is funding projects in the WIO region to reduce stress on marine and coastal ecosystems from land-based sources and activities. Tanzania’s National Implementation Committee (NIC) met this week to review project concepts, which center around sustainable management of critical habitats, water quality, or river flows.
After Tanzania’s NIC submits its project concepts, WIOSAP’s Project Implementation Unit (PMU) will then review the proposals before submitting them to regional experts. Concepts recommended by these experts will be submitted to the Project Steering Committee. Stay tuned for more details!
In other news…
‘Tragic Showcase’ of How Climate Change Could Affect World’s Poorest
“Cyclone Idai is a tragic showcase of what can happen in many other similarly situated towns and cities in low and middle income countries,” Denis McClean, spokesperson for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, told CNN. “They are vulnerable and they are exposed……Read more
Scientists Chart out Future of Ocean Acidification Research in Africa at High-Level Conference in Liberia
Recognised as a major threat to vital marine ecosystems, ocean acidification can vary in its impacts. Research that addresses region-specific impacts of ocean acidification is crucial to inform decisions mitigating its harmful effects. This is especially important for the many African countries where coastal and marine ecosystems provide livelihoods and sources of food.……read more
Protection for high seas is crucial to safeguarding vulnerable coastal communities – new research
The new research on ‘Ecological connectivity between the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction and coastal waters’, by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), demonstrates that coastal communities in least developed countries (LDCs) are highly dependent on key areas of the ‘high seas’ including the central Indian Ocean (the Mascarene Plateau beyond national jurisdiction……read more
Read updates on the second Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
Enabling Effective and Equitable Marine Protected Areas – Guidance on combining governance approaches
This new Guide shows how integrated governance can combine the roles of national governments, local communities, and market schemes to enhance the effectiveness of marine protected areas and the equitable sharing of their costs and benefits. It provides evidence-based guidance based on 34 case studies from around the world, repressing different ecological, social, economic and political settings….read more and access the full-length Guidelines
Practical Approaches and Advances in Spatial Tools to Achieve Multi-Objective Marine Spatial Planning
This study shares the lessons learned and commonalities that emerged from studies conducted in Belize, Canada, South Africa, Seychelles, the United Kingdom and the United States on several topics related to advancing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). The paper identifies seven important themes broadly relevant to any multi-objective MSP process……read more
Traditional Fishing at Odds with Seychelles ‘Blue Economy’
The Seychelles, an Indian Ocean island nation, plans to develop a “blue economy” based on sustainable use of ocean resources, but not everyone is on board.
Local fishermen say new restrictions could destroy their traditional industry, which employs 17% of the country’s population….read more
30×30: A Blueprint for Ocean Protection
30×30: A Blueprint for Ocean Protection scientific study maps out how to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030, a target that scientists say is crucial to safeguard wildlife and to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. The research represents a new approach to designing and creating a network of ocean sanctuaries (or ‘fully protected marine protected areas’)……read more