Wildlife Conservation Society, Waitt Foundation, blue moon fund, and Global Environment Facility Announce Major Commitment to Expand and Protect the World’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)!

September 23rd, 2016 No comments
  • A $48 million commitment toward MPA expansion and improved management revealed at the Our Ocean conference hosted by U.S. State Department
  • MPAs provide immense benefits for the world’s marine ecosystems — for fish and people
  • This commitment will be used to expand and improve MPA coverage to protect 10 percent of the world’s oceans by 2020
  • Oceans have lost 95 percent of their predators, a third of coral reefs are severely degraded, and the majority of the world’s fisheries are over-exploited
  • While close to 15 percent of land is set aside for conservation, only 3.5 percent of the oceans are formally protected, with less than 2 percent secured in full “no-fishing” zones  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 15, 2016) – The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), along with the Waitt Foundation, the blue moon fund (bmf), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), announced a major commitment to expand the world’s marine protected areas (MPAs).

The announcement was made during the U.S. State Department’s Our Ocean 2016 Conference, in Washington, D.C., at which Secretary of State John Kerry invited heads of state, scientists, business leaders, NGOs, and others to tackle key issues including marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean.

MPAs have been shown to provide immense benefits for the world’s marine ecosystems. Recent studies have demonstrated that marine reserves have the ability to more than quadruple fish biomass over time in coral reef ecosystems. Others show that the fishermen near marine reserves see their income more than double.

WCS, the Waitt Foundation and bmf will together commit a minimum of $15 million to the WCS MPA Fund, which will support MPA expansion and creation efforts in countries where WCS works. The GEF will commit an additional $33 million to projects that expand or improve the effectiveness of MPAs in line with countries’ commitment to their 2020 targets. WCS continues to solicit additional commitments to grow the impact of this work even further.

The combined commitment will invest $48 million in new resources toward the expansion and improved effectiveness of MPAs across the world’s oceans, in order to meet or exceed the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Biodiversity Targets of protecting 10 percent of the world’s oceans by 2020.

The MPA Fund has been created at a pivotal moment in time; a dramatic increase in ocean protection is urgently needed. We have lost 95 percent of ocean predators, a third of coral reefs are severely degraded and the majority of the world’s fisheries are over-exploited. Today, while close to 15 percent of land is set aside for conservation, only 3.5 percent of the oceans are formally protected, with less than 2 percent secured in full “no-fishing” zones.

Cristián Samper, President and CEO of WCS, said, “It is time for bold and catalytic action for ocean conservation. We must recognize the critical role Marine Protected Areas play in protecting people and wildlife. Marine Protected Areas are a win-win. Marine Protected Areas are our best conservation tool protecting habitat, improving fisheries, supporting local livelihoods and securing the long-term health of marine biodiversity and the oceans. We must rally together around solutions like Marine Protected Areas for our greatest partner supporting all life on Earth, our oceans.”

Ted Waitt, Founder and Chairman of the Waitt Foundation, said, “The Waitt Foundation is enthusiastic to have catalyzed this combined private and public investment in marine protected areas. It has been our pleasure to work with WCS in the waters of Argentina, Gabon, Fiji, Chile and Congo to date, and look forward to seeing their efforts and commitment scaled across the global to support a dramatic expansion of MPAs by 2020.  We thank the blue moon fund and the GEF for their investments and call on others to join and help leverage greater impact.”

Diane Edgerton Miller, President and CEO of blue moon fund, said, “By investing in the most biodiverse marine environments, we can safeguard wildlife populations and support livelihoods of people who depend on these invaluable resources. The commitments made today are our best chance to reach the goal of conserving 10 percent of the world’s oceans by 2020.”

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, said, “We need to match political commitments with financial support for the world’s oceans. I am pleased to announce the GEF’s new commitment of $33 million dollars to create, expand and improve the effectiveness of over 7 million hectares of marine protected areas. These new funds will help ensure protection of valuable marine and coastal ecosystems worldwide, our vital global commons.”

Governments around the world have made a public commitment to reverse the trend of ocean degradation and by 2020 dramatically expand the area under protection, through the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 14.5 and the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Target 11. Establishing MPAs to cover at least 10 percent of our planet’s oceans will hold back overfishing, reverse the decline of threatened species and protect what remains of critical ocean habitat for a more sustainable ocean future.

The MPA Fund and GEF Commitment will prioritize investment in marine ecosystems with high value in biodiversity and ecosystem services for coastal economies and people. The targeted countries of this combined commitment include: Albania, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mozambique, Myammar, Nicaragua, Peru, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Turkey, Tuvalu, and Vietnam.

Categories: Environment in the Media, Events, News Tags:

The Shark Fin Soup comic strip

September 16th, 2016 No comments

IOC-SmartFish programme is pleased to submit herewith its new publication: a comic strip entitled ‘The Shark Fin Soup’.

The Shark Fin Soup is a project that the Seychellois artist, Peter Lalande, had in mind for a long time. He wanted to tell a story about a cruel practice which deeply shocked him. The project became a reality following a meeting with a group of fishermen from FBOA (The Fishing Boat Owners Association in Seychelles) who were conscious that such practice is not only devastating but also detrimental to the environment they depend upon. Henceforth with the help of the fishermen (FBOA), the IOC-SmartFish programme and FAO, Seychelles Fishing Authority and Green Island Foundation; Peter has worked hard to tell this extraordinary adventure through a didactic comic book. This comic is about sharks and points out the various threats they are facing. It aims at raising awareness about the dangers the sharks are facing nowadays.

We hope that you will find it useful and informative.

Like all SmartFish programme reports, it is available on SmartFish website: http://commissionoceanindien.org/fileadmin/projets/smartfish/TP/The_Shark_Fin_Soup.pdf


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The 2015 Annual Report is out!

September 13th, 2016 No comments


2015 Annual Report is out! WIOMSA prepares its Annual Report each year to highlight its key activities and achievements to our members, partners and stakeholders. The report also profiles selected work from its grantees and WIOMSA’s partners.

Hope you will enjoy reading it. Comments are welcome.

Download the full Report.



















IUCN Congress Hawai‘i Commitments set sail

September 11th, 2016 No comments

Today, Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) adopted the Hawai‘i Commitments, an innovative document that sets out the opportunities to meet key conservation challenges identified at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

The Commitments were shaped by Congress debates and deliberations and were submitted for comment to some 8,500 participants who attended the event. The Hawaii Commitments address issues such as sustaining world food supplies, maintaining the health of the oceans, addressing wildlife trafficking, addressing the challenge of engaging with the private sector, and building resilience to climate change.

The Hawai‘i Commitments highlight nature-based solutions to climate change, such as the restoration of forests and peatlands, as essential components of climate mitigation and adaptation. The Commitments also stress the role of Indigenous peoples and women from local communities as critical to successfully implementing the Paris Agreement.

Read the full article

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New WIOMSA Books for Sale: Get Your Copies Now!

September 8th, 2016 No comments

Two new publications “Sharks and Rays : A Field Guide to Common Elasmo Branchs of East Africa” and “Mangroves of the Western Indian Ocean: Status and Management” are now available for sale online at the WIOMSA Store. Orders of the publications can be made by clicking the  following link http://www.wiomsa.org/online-payments/ and then clicking purchase of books.









Fare Thee Well Taki: the sun sets on one of WIOMSA’s most loved legends!

September 1st, 2016 6 comments

???????????????????????????????It is with deep sorrow and personal regret that we announce the death of Mohammed Taki Jaffer or Mr. Jaffer as he was popularly known in WIOMSA circles. Mr. Jaffer passed away after a short illness, early on Wednesday morning. Mr. Jaffer will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. He was a special, one of a kind individual, with a warm heart, a big smile, a penchant for jokes, and a wise word for everyone.

Though retired from WIOMSA, now at the age of 82, Mr. Jaffer never missed a day in the WIOMSA office, arriving daily at 10 am to assist with accounting as requested, read the newspaper, catch up on emails and generally check on his colleagues at the Secretariat. He will be remembered as a sage, a well read individual, savvy on political discourse and a person whose thirst for learning new things was never ending. He taught himself to how use a computer, learnt the mechanism of emails, and only last year mastered the use of his smart phone within months of its purchase! Each of us not only grieves at the passing of a tremendous individual but also for the loss that his family has suffered.


Mr. Jaffer was the first WIOMSA accountant from 1995 to 2001 when he retired. He leaves behind his wife, Zehra Jaffer Mohammed, a son Nasser Mohammed, a daughter in law and two grand children.

May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace!

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TICAD VI: Embracing Blue Economy for Africa’s Accelerated Development

August 27th, 2016 No comments

The Blue Economy discussions have accelerated since Rio+20, the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 20-22, 2012. A “Blue Economy” approach to sustainable growth usuall… y recognizes different use and non-use values of ocean and other “blue” resources. It promotes the coordination of relevant activities and industries to enhance the overall value. 

Read the full article

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Call for applications Training of trainers in MPA law in the Western Indian Ocean

July 28th, 2016 2 comments

The Biodiversity Project, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) is pleased to announce a call for applications for a Training of trainers in MPA law in the Western Indian Ocean. The Training will be held in two sessions:

i)  In Seychelles from 26 to 30 September 2016. This course will be conducted in English, and will draw participants from Kenya, Mauritius and Tanzania.

ii)  In Madagascar from 31 October to 4 November 2016. This course will be conducted in French and draw on participants from Comoros, Madagascar and Mauritius.

The purpose of this TOT is to build the capacity of nationals from the project targeted countries for an improved understanding of the importance of MPA related laws and their implementation including enforcement and governance arrangements. This goal is to be achieved by training a batch of professionals from the MPA / environmental sector, the line Ministries, relevant departments in Universities, and from the legal profession – in environmental laws relating to marine protected areas.  Once empowered, the intention is for the beneficiaries of the training to be able to train a wider range of stakeholders.

The deadlines for applications are 31 August 2016 (Seychelles course) and 15 September 2016 (Madagascar course).

Download the full announcement in English and in French.

Categories: Call for proposals, Events, News Tags:

The latest Issue of the WIOMSA Newsbrief is out!

July 11th, 2016 No comments

The June Issue of the WIOMSA Newsbrief is out, with interesting articles written by different authors. This Issue contains articles on a publication on SWIOFP results, development of mariculture in the region; sharing experiences of co-management of small-scale fisheries and description of the recently approved MASMA projects. Also included are summaries of workshops/meetings/courses organized between April and June 2016, which were on Blue Solutions, Marine Protected Areas management and mangrove ecology and management. The last article is on Social Network analysis.

Download the full Issue.

AFRICAN MARINE WASTE NETWORK: Towards a Marine Waste Strategy for Africa

June 24th, 2016 No comments

The Sustainable Sea Trust (SST) in collaboration with its partners are inviting all those interested to attend the launch of the African Marine Waste Network in the evening of 25th July 2016. The launch will be held in the South Campus Auditorium at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). Download a note about the first planning workshop “Towards a Strategy for Marine Waste in Africa” which will take place during the day of 25th July (i.e. before the launch in the evening).


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