Description/achievement of initiative
The partnership aims at strengthening the capacity of island nations to management of the marine and coastal resources for growth and development with due respect to the environment. The European Union is the leading technical and financial partner of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and it has supported a large number regional programs for the development of the island States members of the IOC. These programs seek to enhance the capacity of island nations for good governance of fisheries, management of the coastal zones and the management of coastal, marine and island specific biodiversity. The programmes will help to address gaps in the legal, administrative and institutional framework hence strengthens enforcement of regulation and compliance to international and regional agreements such as the Nairobi Convention and its protocol, the CBD will focus on the Nagoya protocol, UNCLOS, fisheries regulation to reduce IUU fishing. The fisheries programs allow countries to strengthen both the national and regional fisheries surveillance systems and manage the fisheries stock. It will promote regional mechanisms for effective cooperation and compliance instruments, address interactions between coastal fisheries and the protection of the marine environment, promote participatory approach to integrated management of the coastal resources. Counties will continue to benefit from information generated from the regional vessel monitoring system to improve fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance effort. Joint sea and air patrol has proven to be effect in the region. Countries have been able put their resources together to ensure surveillance of the ocean from illegal fishing activities. It is expected that trade in fisheries produce for the region will improve, whereby quality and hygiene practise, norms and standards shall be observed. The biodiversity management program will allow for multistakolder participation in the management of the islands ecosystems, restoration of habitat and adopt sound management practices to ensure conservation of species, forest and strengthen the capacity of biodiversity centres. The program will provide for the interaction between the local community and its environment, develop community base actions for sustainable liveliness. At the same time, the national institutions will have the opportunity to continuously build its internal capacity for the management and use of the biodiversity. Country will have the opportunity to review its legal instruments to allow enforcement of regulation to reduce illegal trade. The biodiversity and coastal zone management programs provide opportunities for reconciliation of ecology and economy, science and policy and integrated approach to development. Emphasis is being laid on raising awareness for decision makers on the economic value of the ecosystem and need to approach development in a holistic manner.
The partnership is implemented through project approach. The activities to be carried out are outlined in the annual work program and guided by thematic experts recruited by the Indian Ocean Commission. The priority actions to be implemented are driven by country need. Collaboration with national institutions, e.g. Universities, specialised institutions, etc…are also established to ensure national commitment and for sustainability of actions. Collaboration with regional and international institutions and secretariats of international and regional conventions are established. Recently more specifically for livelihood activities, mechanisms have been put in place to allow the participation of non-state actors through implementation of small grants and the participation of the private sector has been highly encouraged.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
Capacity building needs assessment and the capacity of the institutions are assessed at the start of the program. Training are provided mostly to enhance technical capacity of technicians and these training could be either in the form of practical or through workshops and seminars. To strengthen institutional capacity tools and equipment are made available where required. In the field of fisheries management for instance, joint sea and air surveillance missions has been organised. These missions would involve the participation of fisheries inspectors from all the fisheries surveillance centres. National databases shall be available and a protocol shall be put in place to ensure exchanges of scientific information ensuring that countries keep ownership of their data.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
The partnership is coordinated by the secretariat of the Indian Ocean Commission with regular reporting and review exercises with the EU. The focus island countries benefit from this partnership through regional projects designed through consultations with national authorities and national and regional partners. The coordination mechanism is done both at national and regional level. To ensure coordination and effectiveness of the funds, at national level, national focal points are appointed for each program and at regional level regional steering committees are put in place to guide the implementation of action, propose corrective measures and provide guideline for future actions. Furthermore the Indian Ocean Commission secretariat will report to the Governments through the institutions’ governance structure, which comprise of the Permanent Liaison Officers meeting and its council of Ministers meeting to which the development partner would also participate.
Comoros, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion Island, European Union