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.
The STRONG High Seas Project gathered in Cape Town with representatives from countries, NGOs and academia for the second dialogue workshop about Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction. This workshop was organised in conjunction with the UN-WCMC ABNJ Deep Seas Project and included representatives from all around Africa and was held in partnership with both the Abidjan and Nairobi Secretariats.
The importance of the inherent connectivity of the ocean and how commercial activities in the High Seas can impact on coastal livelihoods and overall ecosystem health was reiterated while participants worked to tackle the complexity of how to conserve biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction – given the current fragmented governance systems. The workshop highlighted the role of regional organisations in this arena and was dove-tailed with a meeting of the ABNJ Technical working group for the Abidjan Convention.
This week, IOI-SA was in Langebaan, on the West Coast of South Africa, for a meeting to develop a new project, WIOGEN: Western Indian Ocean Governance Exchange Network. The project is an exciting opportunity to work with our partners at Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen towards building capacity for ocean governance in the Western Indian Ocean Region.
We also had the opportunity to meet the rest of the teams working on proposals for the MeerWissen project, funded through BMZ and managed by GIZ. It was fruitful meeting for sharing ideas and suggestions on six exciting proposals that will benefit African marine research, sustainable resource use and good ocean governance.
The IOI-SA is one of the three Centers in Expertise for the “Enhancing Marine Management in West, Central and Southern Africa through Training and Application” Project. In January and February of this year (2019) we have visited the three pilot countries – Benin, Ivory Coast and Ghana – to understand their capacity needs for implementing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) as part of the Mami Wata project.
Applications are open for the 2019 IOI-SA Course in Ocean Governance for Africa.
The course will run from the 2 – 27th September 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. The course is run in collaboration with our partners, SANBI and SAIMI. For more information, please go to the Course Page where application forms are also available.
Applications will close on the 18th April 2019. Spaces are limited.