Nairobi Convention Projects and the Science to Policy Platform

In executing its Work Programme, the Nairobi Convention collaborates with regional partners on multiple projects. Currently, the Convention is involved in two GEF Projects: WIOSAP and SAPPHIRE, and three other partnership projects.

The WIOSAP Project promotes a science-policy exchange platform to address vital land-based sources and ICZM issues in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) Region. The SAPPHIRE Project advances information management for ocean governance, evidence-based decision-making, and adaptive management. To meet the needs of the Nairobi Convention a broader Science to Policy Platform (SPP)’ was established.

Additionally, the Nairobi Convention implements Partnership projects that support science-to-policy dialogues and consultations. The ACP MEAs III Programme addresses priority science-to-policy issues by linking policymakers and key coastal and marine environments and sectors for informed policy and decision-making. The Nairobi Convention-SWIOFC partnership project supports the science-to-policy dialogue by promoting the coordination of joint interventions at the national level cooperation between fisheries and environmental management institutions.

The Western Indian Ocean Science to Policy Platform (SPP) is “a multi-stakeholder platform comprising representatives of formal and informal knowledge-generating institutions, practitioners, policymakers, communities and the private sector within the WIO region. It serves as an intermediary body to bridge the gaps between science and policy.

The SPP is intended to support the efforts of the Contracting Parties of the Nairobi Convention to integrate relevant scientific evidence and findings into their efforts to protect, manage and develop their coastal and marine environment sustainably. It is also expected to act as an intermediary between science and society and facilitate and promote a better understanding of ongoing and emerging regional environmental challenges and opportunities and the strategies needed to address them.

The SPP is expected to provide the necessary information for evidence-based decision-making as its primary role of knowledge generation and dissemination, as well as dialogue and consensus-building.

The Nairobi Convention provides a legal framework, a coordination mechanism, and a forum for intergovernmental discussions on the protection, management, and development of the coastal and marine environment in the WIO region.

The SPP fits under the mandate and legal framework of the Convention. The following are the objectives of the SPP:

  • Enhance information sharing between academic and research institutions and the Nairobi Convention and other regional partners;
  • Promote cooperation amongst universities, research institutions, government institutions, NGOs, and regional organizations/programmes in the WIO region;
  • Facilitate identification of opportunities for collaborative regional research in line with the Nairobi Convention Work Programme;
  • Provide critical linkage between research and decision-making processes; and
  • Provide quality assurance for scientific research products by experts in the WIO region.
  • Membership is open to relevant heads of academic and research institutions in the WIO region including thematic experts from these institutions,
  • The SPP can seek advice from individual experts as may be required in an ad-hoc manner,
  • NGOs and regional programmes with a mandate to research marine and coastal issues are eligible for membership of SPP,
  • Focal Points to the Nairobi Convention and policy development representatives from regional countries are included in the SPP.
western indian ocean science to policy platfrom
Cover: First Issue of the Science to Policy Platform series

The 2023 Western Indian Ocean Science to Policy

western indian ocean science to policy forum, science to policy forum, science to policy platform

In preparation for the 2023 Science to Policy Forum to be held between 5 – 7 December 2023 in Maputo, Mozambique, the Nairobi Convention Secretariat reached out to technical and policy experts to prepare discussion papers on selected initiatives relevant to the meeting’s theme.

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