Three days of the engaging Marine Regions Forum culminated in noteworthy dialogues on ocean governance between experts in science, policy, industry, and ocean conservation from around the world. Discussions on inclusivity and innovation set the stage for a day dedicated to idea exchanges on implementation pathways for strengthened ocean governance at regional and national scales.
Interactive workshop sessions held during the third day were centred on cross-cutting topical strands. These included approaches to achieving conservation outcomes at scale; advancing private sector involvement in ocean sustainability in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO); coastal adaptation to the triple planetary crisis; accelerating coastal and marine restoration; and financing the WIO regional ocean governance strategy.
Speaking at a workshop on private sector inclusion to foster a sustainable blue economy in the WIO region, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Blue Economy & Fisheries in Zanzibar, Aboud Jumbe, outlined avenues for the private sector to support marine conservation, value addition and innovative digitisation for the blue economy, and marine spatial planning processes. The engaging discussions also included best practice sharing on regional initiatives such as Our Blue Future and case studies on blue tourism, applying circularity to marine plastic pollution, and sustainable reef investments.
The final plenary session at the forum featured reflective perspectives on priority areas for implementation of ocean governance in the WIO region. Panellists at the session included Dustan Shimbo, Vice President’s Office, Tanzania; Denis Matatiken, Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Seychelles; Kareen Andriantsiferana, WWF Madagascar; Dixon Waruinge, Nairobi Convention Secretariat; and Abdoulaye Diagana, Abidjan Convention. The adoption of data and technologies to drive solutions as well as creating room for meaningful engagement of youth and communities for ocean governance actions, were some of the central messages highlighted by the panellists. Addressing the plenary session delegates, Paubert Mahatante, Minister for Fisheries and Blue Economy, Madagascar, also voiced the imperative of tackling climate change, plastic pollution, and biodiversity loss, particularly for small island states.
The three-day conference was a significant edition of the Marine Regions Forum, which provided room for the co-design and co-creation of ocean governance approaches in the WIO region and beyond.
Photos by: Empower Limited