The STRONG High Seas Project and its partners are pleased to announce the launch of a new website designed to provide information about Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), including the conservation and sustainable use of Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), with an emphasis on the Abidjan Convention Region:http://highseas-abidjanconvention.org/. The user-friendly site is a first stop for anyone wanting to learn more about marine biodiversity in ABNJ, the pressures it faces and the development under the UN of a new treaty on BBNJ. There are links to key publications, events andother websites that are of interest to the Southeast Atlantic.Short fact sheets provide bite-size summaries of key BBNJ issues. Some of the key themes covered on the website include:
The decision to move the Course in Ocean Governance to online was not taken lightly, but after delaying the 2020 training that was scheduled for September, and the continuing uncertainty around Covid-19, it was the pragmatic decision. The training started on the 22nd Feb and finished Friday, the 19th March.
On 15-19 February, IOI-SA in collaboration with the FAO, held the pilot training event for the Small-Scale Fisheries Governance Training Program for Africa – for creating an enabling environment for the implementation of the FAOs Voluntary SSF Guidelines.
The training event brought together government stakeholders and FAO country representatives from the countries of Ghana, Namibia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Over the 5 days, a great group of engaging participants interacted with experts and speakers from the region who delivered sessions of particular relevance to SSF governance in Africa. The sessions centered on approaches to good governance toward the recognition and awareness of the key principles and themes highlighted in the SSF Guidelines -grounded strongly in human rights based approaches.
The training was well received by the participants, and served as a motivation for positive change for small-scale fisheries in their National contexts. “They (SSF sector) have fed the world. They have come from a place where they have been ignored. And now for the first time the world is looking in their direction. They are too big to ignore… Small-scale fishers lives matter.” – Participant, Ghana.
The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines 2014) promote governance reform in order to create food security and poverty eradication in small-scale fishing communities. The capability to implement the SSF Guidelines varies within States and regions, as do national policies and small-scale fisheries governance strategies. Many States have poor awareness and recognition, capacity, co-ordination and institutional structures to effectively implement many of the fundamental values that the SSF Guidelines seek to promote.
The training program therefore aims to contribute towards creating an enabling environment for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines, through capacitating practitioners to address key small-scale fisheries governance issues using holistic and participatory methods. It also aims to strengthen capacity at national and regional levels, by creating increased awareness, facilitate institutional linkages and the development of good governance frameworks. The training is being developed in conjunction with regional experts, with the pilot training event expected to be held in Cape Town 2021. The pilot course will invite small-scale fisheries practitioners from a number of African countries who are currently working with the FAO on implementation of the SSF Guidelines in their countries.
PETCO and IOI-SA gathered together plastic experts to try unpack some of the myths and mysteries around these issues in a panel discussion that was open to the public and media. The discussion took place on the 12th of March 2020. The experts included Peter Ryan (University of Cape Town), Douw Steyn (Plastics|SA), Aaniyah Omardien (The Beach Co-op), Anthony Ribbink (Sustainable Seas Trust), Alison Davison (City of Cape Town), Suzan Oelofse (CSIR), Cheri Scholtz (PETCO) and Chandru Wadhwani (Extrupet). The discussion was facilitated by IOI-SA Director, Adnan Awad. The panelists were asked to highlight some of the plastic myths that they have come across and what message they would like the audience to take home. To find out more about the discussion, please click here: PETCO/IOI-SA Plastic Forum March 2020.
The course is a unique opportunity to join the growing network of IOI Ocean Governance Ambassadors in Africa.
Applications will close on the 19th April 2020 and no late applications will be considered. Spaces are limited. Partial funding is available on a competitive basis and only to participants from Africa.
Participants from South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Gabon, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Liberia met in Cape Town on the 27th and 28th November, 2019, to discuss the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) negotiations that are taking place in New York. The workshop was the first of two that will be run by STRONG High Seas Project partners, the International Ocean Institute – African Region, in collaboration with BirdLife International.
The workshop aimed to bring together representatives from the Abidjan Convention countries, with an interest in the BBNJ negotiations that are taking place in New York, to learn from each other and have a better understanding of the importance of the negotiations for Africa, and how they can contribute to the negotiations at a national and regional level.
The Western Indian Ocean Governance Exchange Network (WIOGEN) kick off conference at the Maru Maru Hotel in Zanzibar on the 7th and 8th November 2019. The conference, co-hosted by WIOMSA, was attended by 40 delegates from South Africa, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Seychelles, Mauritius, Germany and Australia.
WIOGEN is designed to be inclusive and dynamic, with ideas for publications, trainings and exchanges coming from its members and being put forward to the steering committee for funding. The work of WIOGEN is organised under three themes or working groups: 1) Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture; 2) Marine Spatial Planning and Coastal Management and 3) Biodiversity Conservation, Habitat Loss and Pollution. Adnan Awad highlighted how the working groups would be a communication platform amongst members within thematic areas and would identify areas of focus, capacity and networking needs. The working groups would be responsible for producing output in support of the gaps and needs that they identify and in turn be supported by WIOGEN through training workshops and scientific exchanges as well as a science to policy event and closing conference.
IOI-SA, together with our partners at Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), were at the WIOMSA Symposium in Mauritius to launch the West Indian Ocean Governance and Exchange Network – WIOGEN. The network is an opportunity for knowledge exchange and capacity building in the West Indian Ocean region. It complements other regional marine science networks by focusing explicitly on ocean and coastal governance – bridging the social and marine sciences. There are three broad themes under which a series of exciting scientific exchanges, publications and training schools will be developed:
Nutritional Security, sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and livelihoods
Marine Spatial Planning and Coastal Management
Biodiversity conservation, pollution and habitat loss.
IOI-SA joined the multi-stakeholder team, lead by the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping in Mauritius this July to investigate biofouling on ships in Port Louis. Biofouling is the attachment and growth of non-desirable organisms on the submerged surfaces of ships’ hulls. The growth of organisms not only slows down ships, resulting in an increase in fuel costs, but is also an important way in which the introduction of alien, invasive species to new areas can occur. It is therefore an ecological and economic threat to Ports. This was the second field visit for the project and included sediment sampling and sampling of hulls in Port. This project includes a large team from multiple organisations, including the Mauritius Oceanographic Institute, Shipping Division, Mauritius Ports Authority and National Coast Guard.