7th Conference of Parties Meeting for the Nairobi Convention
10 - 14 December 2012
Theme: “Partnering for a Healthy Western Indian Ocean”.
Highlights of day 1 of the Seventh Conference of Parties- Science for Policy Workshop 10/12/2012
The Science for Policy Workshop 10-11/12/2012 that precedes the Seventh Conference of Parties (COP7) for the Nairobi Convention was officially opened by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA) on 10 December 2012.
The attendance to the Science for Policy workshop was over 85 participants, 41 policy experts from national government institutions, 45 from partner organizations (NGOS, UN Agencies, research and academic institutions).
In her opening remarks, the Deputy Minister called for governance transformation towards oceans management approaches where marine biodiversity has multiple values and acts as natural blue capital for faster economic growth and at the same time highlighted issues facing the marine and coastal environment in Mozambique and the Western Indian Ocean region.
The Deputy Minister also noted that the Western Indian Ocean was among the few regions of the world that still maintain some pristine habitats (e.g Northern Mozambican channel) that are the least ecologically disturbed on a global oceans scale. She highlighted the RIO+20 debates on the Green Economy adding that COP7 would provide governments in the Western Indian Ocean region a valuable opportunity to build on the momentum from Rio on green economy, and poverty eradication.
In view of the major discoveries of oil and gas and the potential social and economic opportunities and impacts on the economies of the WIO countries on one hand and negative environmental impacts on the other hand, she called for collaboration among all stakeholders including governments, industry and the civil society through appropriate forums and mechanisms adding that marine and coastal resources such as oil and gas exploration and green economy can contribute to reducing poverty.
In the first day of discussions, the experts dwelled on ecosystem based management approaches, Ecologically or Biologically Sensitive Areas (EBSAs). FAO introduced discussions on Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) and the role of regional fisheries organization in the description of the VMEs.
GRID Arendal led discussions on the Areas Beyond National Jurisdictions (ANBJ) and possible role for the regional seas conventions in the discussions. In particular, the presentations highlighted the fact that what happens in the high seas will ultimately have an effect in national waters. Governments were thus urged to prepare on how to deal with the proximal impacts from ABNJ beside seabed mining activities.
Other presentations and discussions included proposal for the application for of an Ocean Health Index (OHI) and identification of trans-boundary World Heritage Sites in the Mozambican channel, including establishment of a conservation area akin to the coral reef triangle in the Northern Mozambican Channel. Comments on the proposal on the world heritage sites pointed out that there is a possible overlap between existing conservation efforts and the heritage sites especially in the Bazaruto Archipelago, and the need for Strategic Environmental Assessments before any areas are declared heritage sites or EBSAS..
The Government of Seychelles led a discussion on the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge (WIO-CC), which is defined as a platform for parties to discuss development in the context of climate change. The platform will focus on climate change and the impacts of change in coastal areas and resources.
The meeting is expected to focus on oil and gas, green economy and climate change issues on the 11 December 2012. The 7th COP meeting will be officially opened at 1800 Hrs on the 12 December 2012.
COP7 highlights, documents and resources
Highlights of the COP
Brief on Day 2 of the COP7 - Science for Policy Workshop 11/12/2012
Brief on Day 1 of the COP7 - Science for Policy Workshop 10/12/2012
Third Announcement to the COP7
Second Announcement to the COP7
First Announcement to the COP7
Nairobi, Kenya, 29 March - 1 April, 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa, 5–8 November 2007
Antananarivo, Madagascar, 6-8 July 2004
Maputo, Mozambique, 5-7 December 2001
Port Louis, 2-4 November 1999
Mahé Island, Seychelles, 17-18 March 1997