STRONG High Seas Expert Workshop on Strengthening Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) in the Southeast Atlantic – May 2021

On 5-6 May 2021, STRONG High Seas project partner IDDRI organised a two-day online workshop entitled “Monitoring, Control and Surveillance of Human Activities in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) in Western Africa”.

The workshop gathered around 40 monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) experts of the Southeast Atlantic region, with representatives from governments, regional organisations, NGOs and academia. It provided a valuable opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders working on MCS to exchange best practices and experiences.

Day 1 focused on options for improving cross-sectoral coordination both at national and regional levels. Participants discussed existing coordination initiatives, challenges and opportunities for development. Day 2 explored the role of port and coastal States in the MCS of human activities as an additional tool when flag States are unable or unwilling to take actions in relation to vessels flying their flag. The workshop provided key insights into how improving the collection and sharing of data, enhanced cooperation and coordination, the harmonisation of legislation and sanctions, increased capacity-building and more involvement of Southeast Atlantic States in global and regional processes can strengthen MCS in the region. The outcomes of this workshop will contribute to a report, to be published by the STRONG High Seas project, contributing to both current UN discussions on a new international legally binding instrument on high seas biodiversity and future MCS efforts in the region.