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7th Conference of Parties Meeting for the Nairobi Convention

10 - 14 December 2012
Maputo, Mozambique

Theme: “Partnering for a Healthy Western Indian Ocean”.

Highlights of Day 2 of the Seventh Conference of Parties- Science for Policy Workshop 11/12/2012


Day 2 of the Science for policy workshop begun at 9.00am under the leadership of the Deputy Minister, Ministry for Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA). The discussions mainly focused on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), critical coastal and marine ecosystems i.e. coral reefs, mangroves and sea grass beds, green economy in a blue world, climate change, oil and gas, marine protected areas and regional assessment on birds as indicators of ecosystem health, mangroves for the future, and sharks conservation in the Western Indian Ocean region.

The Nairobi Convention Secretariat led the discussions on ICZM. In the presentation, the secretariat provided a brief evolution on the concept of ICZM and the current use of ICZM as a management support tool for implementation of national and international environmental commitments such as UNCLOS. The discussions further explored ways of using the ICZM Protocol to address emerging issues on biodiversity such as oil and gas, EBSAs, VMEs as well as linking with efforts to deal with ABNJ and partnership agreements with other international organizations such as CBD, FAO, and other initiatives dealing with biodiversity issues in both the coastal zone and deep sea.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), University of Eduardo Mondlane and Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) led the discussions on critical coastal and marine habitats such as coral reefs, mangroves and sea grass beds. The presentations provided an overview of ongoing conservation efforts, research and project activities including networks and taskforces established and anchored within the Nairobi Convention. The presentations called for development of standardized methodologies for assessment and further collaboration with ongoing regional initiatives, projects and funding institutions to further support or strengthen these networks and taskforces.

The Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) led the discussions on green economy and climate change in the Western Indian Ocean region. In their presentation, WIOMSA built on the momentum of the discussions on green economy from the Rio+ 20 summit, African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) held on 10-14 September 2012 in Arusha, Tanzania and the focal points meeting held on 9 August 2012 in Maputo, Mozambique.  The presentation also highlighted on-going regional and national initiatives on green economy in the WIO region. WIOMSA further provided an overview of the draft regional climate change strategy under development by the ‘Consortium for the Conservation of the marine and coastal ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean’ (WIO-C).  The regional strategy seeks to bring to the attention of the policy and decision makers climate change issues facing the marine and coastal environment in the Western Indian Ocean region.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on behalf of the WIO-C led the discussions on oil and gas. WWF highlighted the major discoveries on oil and gas in the region such as Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania. The presentation also indicated an overlap of offshore and coastal areas of high biodiversity and oil and gas potential mainly in Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. Oil and gas offers high potential for economic development however, several impacts including cumulative impacts are anticipated that need to be considered for responsible development of this sector.

BirdLife International led discussions on marine protected areas and the assessment of the status of the marine and coastal environment using birds as indicators of ecosystem health. In the presentation, BirdLife International highlighted the role of birds in the marine and coastal environment such as in the Tuna fisheries industry. The assessment process followed a comprehensive review of scientific information, formation of national taskforces and in-country technical review workshops leading to the development of national and region synthesis report and a revised list of 108 birds on Annex II of the Protocol concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region. The presentation further called for collaboration with other multilateral environmental agreements such as CBD, CMS, RAMSAR Convention and regional fisheries organizations.

IUCN led the discussions on the proposed regional project on the Mangroves for the Future in the WIO region. The initiative is based on the success of the Mangroves for the Future project in Asia. The proposed project will focus on sustainable management of mangroves ecosystems as well as wider coastal management to enhance resilience of coastal communities. Several objectives associated with this have been developed and a preliminary program of work designed. Field level implementation will hopefully also be accompanied by policy level changes. A situation analysis is underway to develop a full program including intensive stakeholder engagement.

Day 2 discussions wrapped up its proceedings with a presentation by WCS on the outputs of the Sharks conservation workshop held on 6 and 7 December 2012 in Maputo, Mozambique. The shark’s workshop provided a baseline for future sharks conservation work in the WIO region.


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