Experts on ocean governance from the Indian Ocean and other parts of the world are meeting in Seychelles to discuss and identify solutions to overcome challenges.
The six-day meeting comes after the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UN-DOALOS) expressed interest in holding a training session for the Indian Ocean countries. The meeting is on ocean governance issues and the Law of the Sea in collaboration with the Nairobi Convention.
In his opening address, the Seychelles’ environment minister, Flavien Joubert, said that “This event will serve as a prime opportunity for Indian Ocean and global experts to enrich the ocean governance segment and contribute to the ongoing regular process.”
He added that the participants will look at strengthening “our collective capacity in ocean governance through ocean governance studies, regional consultations, and customised training courses. By fostering a community of practice and bringing together policymakers, scientists, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders, we can address the challenges faced by our region.”
The Nairobi Convention is a treaty that works to protect, manage, and develop the western Indian Ocean and it came into force in 1996.
The participants in the meeting will also help provide information to the World Ocean Assessment, which is a United Nations regular process.
Among the topics discussed on Monday was the way in which the various policies were linked on national, regional and international levels.
One of the facilitators, Francois Bailet, head of capacity-building and Trust Funds at UN-DOALOS, highlighted the various legislation, frameworks and policies in place in the different countries to govern the ocean.
However, he said in his address that those present must reinforce their collective abilities to safeguard the oceans.
To safeguard the oceans, an array of topics will be addressed including regional seas conventions and protocols, regional fisheries management conventions and arrangements.
The participating countries have various legislation to guide the way they govern their seas and oceans, like the Blue Economy legislation for Seychelles.
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) is one of the major sponsors of the event, which will be held until Friday.
The meeting is in two parts with the first introducing participants to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other related agreements. There will also be an overview of the legal and institutional frameworks for the management of oceans at the global, regional, and national levels.
The second part of the meeting which will end on Friday will focus on the thematic elements of the third World Ocean Assessment in two parts.