GIS - October 05, 2012: “As leaders in this region we should encourage and facilitate the re-orientation of our governance processes to meet challenges through innovative ways furthering partnerships and the supporting Science-Based Governance mechanisms that provide a vehicle for delivering and translating scientific knowledge into sound, pragmatic management and policy decisions”.
The Minister of Fisheries, M. Nicolas Von Mally, made his statement yesterday at the opening Policy Advisory committee meeting of the Second Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems (ASCLME)/South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Project (SWIOFP) at Flic en Flac. He recalled that marine and coastal resources are a key avenue for providing economic growth. However, this contribution can only be realised if we the factors that prevent us from accruing the economic benefits are reduced or eliminated.
These include the depletion and degradation of marine and coastal resources; Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU); piracy and impacts of climate change as well as non-integration of national and regional efforts, said the Minister.
Delegates from Mauritius, Comoros, Reunion, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somali, South Africa, Tanzania, Yemen and Somalia and representatives from the World Bank, Indian Ocean Commission, Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, UNESCO, Nairobi Convention and specialised agencies, including regional NGOs, will discuss the plan for economic growth, sustainable development and environmental management of the coastal and marine resources for the benefit of the region.
High officials from the region are participating in the meetings with a view to reviewing and fine tuning a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the Large Marine Ecosystems of the South West Indian Ocean region. The programme will then be submitted to respective governments for endorsement at a later stage.
The ACSLME project is supporting eight African countries in their efforts to collectively manage the marine resources on which their people and economies depend. Partners comprise Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa and Tanzania. ASCLME is centred on the two large marine ecosystems (LMEs) of the western Indian Ocean region. These are the Somali Current LME – which extends from the Comoros Islands and the northern tip of Madagascar up to the horn of Africa – and the Agulhas Current LME which stretches from the northern end of the Mozambique Channel to Cape Agulhas.
The ASCLME project will lay the foundations to introduce an “ecosystem approach” to managing the marine and coastal resources of the Western Indian Ocean region. The ecosystem approach places human needs at the centre of biodiversity management and aims to optimise the use of an ecosystem, without damaging it.