Online workshop: Towards a Marine Regions Forum in the Western Indian Ocean

The Marine Regions Forum Online Workshop ‘Towards a Marine Regions Forum Conference in the Western Indian Ocean’ took place on Monday, 29th of November 2021.

A news report of the workshop can be found here and a comprehensive workshop summary is available here.

The workshop aimed to kick-start a preparatory process to co-develop the next Marine Regions Forum Conference in the Western Indian Ocean with key regional actors and stakeholders. Participants and workshop hosts explored the current challenges and opportunities for regional cooperation as well as areas where the Marine Regions Forum can deliver to facilitate the advancement of regional ocean governance processes.

Along with the Marine Regions Forum team, the workshop was organized and co-hosted with regional partners from the Nairobi Convention Secretariat and CORDIO East Africa, with financial support from the Swedish Ministry of the Environment and the European Commission. Workshop speakers, panelists, and working group co-hosts included the following:

  • Denis Matatiken (Ministry of Environment, Energy, Climate Change, Seychelles)
  • Helen Ågren (Ambassador for the Ocean, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden)
  • Angelique Pouponneau (Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust – SeyCCAT)
  • Aboud Jumbe (Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries, Zanzibar)
  • Yvonne Waweru (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – GIZ)
  • David Obura (Coastal Oceans Research and Development Indian Ocean – CORDIO East Africa)
  • Jacqueline Uku (Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association – WIOMSA and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute – KMFRI)
  • Adnan Awad (The Nature Conservancy)
  • Kieran Kelleher (Fisheries, Oceans & Marine Law Specialist)
  • Aurore Maillet (European Commission)

The upcoming Marine Regions Forum conference supports progress towards the delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals in the WIO region. It will build on ongoing efforts of the Marine Regions Forum and preparatory research with project partners including the Nairobi Convention Secretariat, CORDIO East Africa, and others.

For more information on opportunities to get involved, please contact the Marine Regions Forum project team.

Marine Regions Forum takes the next step

Regional action across boundaries, actors, and sectors is key to conservation and sustainable use of the ocean. Sweden is stepping up its engagement by funding the Marine Regions Forum – a dialogue and learning platform for the world’s marine regions in support of ocean governance.

The Marine Regions Forum brings together experts and actors from decision-making, academia, the civil society, and industry to discuss pressing ocean issues, develop recommendations, and build collaborations for effective ocean action.
The Marine Regions Forum, originally launched in 2019 and co-hosted by Germany and the European Commission, will now receive further funding by the Government of Sweden (Ministry of the Environment). The European Commission and the Federal Government of Germany are still supporting the Forum, together with the Government of France and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Marine Regions Forum operates in three areas: support for development of the marine regions, fostering of dialogue between marine regions, and providing regional ocean governance with a voice in global processes.

By the end of 2022 or early 2023, COVID-19 pandemic allowing, the second edition of the Marine Regions Forum conference will be organized in the Western Indian Ocean in cooperation with the Nairobi Convention. The meeting will showcase progress, challenges and future opportunities in ocean governance and aims to accelerate transformative action in that region. Moreover, the forum will enable dialogue and exchange between regional and global actors.

Delivering on a Voluntary Commitment made at the UN Ocean Conference, the Marine Regions Forum is organized by the Partnership for Regional Ocean Governance (PROG) – a collaborative science-society-policy initiative by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), and TMG – Think Tank for Sustainability.


Online Workshop on: Supporting blue recovery through regional cooperation

A second workshop dedicated to the role of marine regions in the recovery from COVID-19 will take place on Wednesday 6 October to assess current regional initiatives and discuss conditions for a sustainable blue recovery of marine regions, including through enhanced regional collaboration.

This online workshop builds on the Marine Regions Forum 2019 and the January 2021 webinar Ocean governance and COVID-19 – Building resilience for marine regions.


Key Messages from the Marine Regions Forum 2019 at UN 2020 Ocean Conference preparatory meeting

The next decade will be crucial for the health and future of the Ocean. What role can marine regions play in efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals? Which approaches have proven successful and what can be done to enhance their coordination?

Drawing on discussions held at the Marine Regions Forum 2019 and the contributions of participants, the conference organisers (IASS, IDDRI and TMG – Think Tank for Sustainability) have formulated eight Key Messages to support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the planning of effective measures to protect the oceans.

Read more Key Messages from the Marine Regions Forum 2019 at UN 2020 Ocean Conference preparatory meeting

PROG at Meeting of the Communities of Ocean Action “From Commitments to Action: Implementing SDG14,” 30-31 May 2019, Incheon

From 30 – 31 May, the PROG Marine Regions Forum project attended the UN Meeting of the Communities of Ocean Action (COAs) in Incheon, South Korea. The Meeting brought together the Voluntary Commitments (VCs) made at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference – a growing list that now includes more than 1,500 commitments for action to advance the implementation of SDG 14. Read more PROG at Meeting of the Communities of Ocean Action “From Commitments to Action: Implementing SDG14,” 30-31 May 2019, Incheon

PROG team joined world leaders at the Paris Peace Forum

Heads of States and government from 65 countries gathered in Paris to mark the end of the First World War and attended the Paris Peace Forum after the Remembrance Day ceremony led by French President Emmanuel Macron. Selected to present challenges related to regional ocean governance, the PROG team joined the world leaders in the Peace Forum held in Paris, France from 11 to 13 November 2018.

Read more PROG team joined world leaders at the Paris Peace Forum

Towards an International Forum for Regional Ocean Governance

More than 40 international scientists, policy-makers and civil society representatives got together at the IASS from 8 to 9 October 2018 to discuss a new international dialogue forum for regional ocean governance. The forum, called the Marine Regions Forum, will be a multi-stakeholder platform that will bring together different actors including Governments, international organizations, scientists, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations.

Read more Towards an International Forum for Regional Ocean Governance