In November 2021 at the 10th Conference of Parties to the Nairobi Convention, Contracting Parties made a commitment to develop an Information Management Strategy (IMS) for the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, under Decision CP.10/5. The Nairobi Convention is implementing this Decision in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through the “Western Indian Ocean Governance Initiative” (WIOGI), the Collective Leadership Institute (CLI) and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung, ZMT).
The process of developing the IMS comprises of a series of stakeholder engagements and dialogues, informed by technical guidance on information and data management and its relevance in ocean governance. A 24-member regional Multi-stakeholder Working Group (MSWG) to develop the IMS has been constituted and is made up of WIO region Government representatives, NGOs, private sector, academia and other stakeholders.
In July 2022, WIOGI, with the support of the Collective Leadership Institute (CLI) conducted its first collective leadership training targeting the Multi-stakeholder Working Group (MSWG) to develop an Information Management Strategy (IMS) for the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. This training followed a virtual awareness workshop on the IMS, organized by the NC and WIOGI in April 2022. The IMS development process was detailed to key stakeholders in the region.
Participants learned individual leadership development and the development of desired engagement processes beneficial for the participatory IMS development process. Using thematic viewpoints and expertise in oceanography, geomorphology, biological and socioeconomic Systems, participants from countries of the of the Western Indian Ocean identified the strategic areas for the development of the IMS. These included stakeholder analysis, data and information quality, gathering, sharing, and standard setting. The participants are currently working on engaging specific stakeholders to begin a participatory process of developing the WIO Information Management Strategy, and identifying relevant, overarching, and cross-cutting issues.
A follow-up training for the working group developing the WIO MSWG IMSC will be held in the last quarter of the year 2022, and in early 2023.
The aim of the IMS is to strengthen national data centers, through capacity development on regional information and knowledge management strategy and mechanisms. The strategy and mechanisms will strengthen decision-making on ocean governance in the Western Indian Ocean. It is also expected to simplify sharing and consolidating data between platforms and make it more accessible to countries, partners, and stakeholders.