At the 10th Conference of Parties to the Nairobi Convention, in November 2021, the Contracting Parties recognized the importance of and made a commitment to develop an Information Management Strategy for the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region under Decision CP.10/5.

The Nairobi Convention Secretariat (NCS) stepped forward to implement the decision and to realize an Information Management Strategy (IMS). The process began with an introductory virtual workshop held on 12 April 2022.

The Nairobi Convention Secretariat is partnering with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through collaboration in a project entitled the “Western Indian Ocean Governance Initiative” (WIOGI); a project implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

WIOGI aims at strengthening cooperation among regional, national, and local stakeholders for the protection and sustainable use of coastal and marine biodiversity in the Western Indian Ocean.

WIOGI’s approach in developing the IMS is participatory, regional, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder. One of the primary components of WIOGI is the development of two strategies – an ocean governance strategy and an information management strategy (IMS). The process of developing the IMS will comprise of a series of stakeholder engagements and dialogue, accompanied by technical guidance on information and data management, and its relevance in ocean governance.

The primary step involves establishing a 24-member regional Multi-stakeholder Working Group (MSWG) for developing the IMS, with representation from WIO Governments, NGOs, private sector, academia and other stakeholders.

Strategic partnerships have been identified proactively to support the development of the Western Indian Ocean IMS. The Collective Leadership Institute (CLI) brings on board emerging paradigm leadership concepts to multi-stakeholder processes and projects in support of achieving the SDGs. CLI’s approach will comprise of trainings that build on collaborative systems, processes, and dialogue around IMS development. The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung, ZMT) will support the WIO IMS development process with requisite science, technical expertise, and experience.