Establishment of the Western Indian Ocean Regional Governance Task Force (WIO-ROG-TF)
The Nairobi Convention (NC) has asked its 10 Parties and other key stakeholders to nominate representatives to contribute to the development of a Regional Ocean Governance Strategy (ROGS) for the Western Indian Ocean. These individuals will form a Task Force (TF) which will have to finalise its proposals by November 2023, the date of the next NC COP 11.
In April 2022, France appointed Florence GALLETTI (Marine Science & Law of the Sea) and Francis MARSAC (Oceanography), members of DiDEM, and Benoit RODRIGUES (International Affairs and Partnerships, IRD)
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Behind the initiative…
The Nairobi Convention (NC) has been mandated under previous COP Decisions, and most recently COP 10, COP Decision 10.5 “to finalise the development, in a participatory process, with the support of partners, the ocean governance strategy for the Western Indian Ocean region as a contribution to the African ocean governance strategy”.
The reference to an African ocean governance strategy comes
1) the AMCEN (2015’s Cairo Declaration) who called for development of an African ocean governance strategy in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Regional Seas Conventions, the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) and the African Union Agenda 2063,
2) the AMCEN’s request (2017) to UNEP and the secretariats of the Regional Seas Conventions to cooperate with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other regional bodies to develop ecosystem-based approaches to ocean governance.
Already in 2021, but more broadly in 2022, The NC Secretariat has mobilised a WIO Regional Ocean Governance Initiative to make this process concrete along three thematic action:
i) improving regional capacity for ocean governance,
ii) developing a regional ocean governance strategy or cooperative framework through a government-led process,
iii) ensuring that the framework is consistent with wider Africa’s sustainable development policies, international ocean law and international norms.
Inputs from DIDEM members to this process…
The members appointed by the french Ministry of Ecological Transition and the MAE have chosen to integrate, among the 3 groups created (MARITIME SECURITY & BLUE ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT& NATURAL RESOURCES, SCIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE), the "SCIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE" cluster, ROGS Task Force.
Through regular meetings and collective input into this process, TF members provide time, knowledge, communication with their stakeholders and institutions and with other TF members and CLUSTERS.
Since the first meeting to launch the ROGs (inception meeting 26 April 2022) the 3 groups have been asked to collectively define :
– 1) “ Priority regional sectors“ (one example among others, i.e. Science and knowledge in support of marine biodiversity agreements in the WIO (linked to BBNJ Treaty), or Fisheries - status, trends and regulations)…
– 2) “ Priority regional challenges“, (one example among others, i.e. Sustainable fisheries et Connectivity between ABNJ, seamounts, MPA and exploited coastal ecosystems, i.e. Capacity building and academic curriculum in Coastal and ocean science, Data science, Law and regulations to sustain oceanic development, Economics )…
– 3) “ Priority opportunities for enhanced regional cooperation“, (one example among others, i.e. MPA networks and MSP [transboundary MPAs and MPA BNJs, corridors], Observatories (mangroves, deltas, small scale fisheries and deep sea ecosystems)…
– 4) “Main regional organizations, institutions, associations, platforms“etc. that should be engaged (public, private, civil society, and academic) to ensure participatory ROGS development and sustainable implementation
In June 2022, the subsequent prioritisation exercise about these items is not completed. The process will be long and gradual until the next COP 11 of the Nairobi Convention.
This process commissioned by the Nairobi Convention, facilitated by partners (Mr. Kerian Kelleher (NC S/ WIOMSA), CLI (Collective Leadership Institute) and Western Indian Ocean Initiative WIOGI (GIZ)), both allows and requires the participation of DIDEM members in the triple field of ocean, social and data sciences. The process leading to the drafting of the constituent documents of the future ROGs document is perfectly in line with the DIDEM / SAPPHIRE partnership (SAPPHIRE is an Nairobi Convention-managed GEF-funded project which supports policy harmonization and management reforms to improve ocean governance, fosters best practices and capacity development for innovative ocean governance).
These dedicated tasks and time are counted as an output of DIDEM High Sea, Remote and/or Deep Seabeds [HS/RS/DS] & ABNJ COMPONENT. For the data, let us point out the appointment of Mr. Julien Barde (email@example.com) in May 2022 (DIDEM, & G2OI project), for France, to the Nairobi Convention secrétariat , for a parallel process, as national expert OI of the Working Group on the Regional Data Management Strategy. (Information Management Strategy IMS).