The Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge (WIO-CC) -Seychelles chairs 2nd technical workshop


19-November-2012

 

Mr Agricole (standing at the front) presenting the recommendations for adoption by members


This meeting, chaired by Wills Agricole of Seychelles, the President of the WIO-CC, discussed the means necessary for the accomplishment of the Challenge road map and action plan, which envision regional and country level goals and objectives to be achieved in the coming 20 years.
 
It should be noted that the WIO-CC was first proposed by President James Michel in 2007 as a “platform to galvanise political, financial and technical commitments and actions at national and regional levels on climate change adaptation, promoting resilient ecosystems (marine and coastal resources), sustainable livelihoods, and human security”.
 
The issues emerging from the conclusions and recommendations of the second technical workshop of the WIO-CC include the importance of regional and interregional exchanges and the role that policy makers should play in promoting the WIO-CC.
 
With this in mind Ronnie Jumeau, Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing States (Sids) issues was appointed to be one of the "champions" who will promote the platform and its cause.

 This event was supported by the Indian Ocean Commission through its ISLANDS project which is financed by the European Union. Representatives from Comoros, France/Réunion, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Zanzibar took part in it.
WIO-CC is a regional initiative through which governments in the Western Indian Ocean take on bold steps and commitments to address the unavoidable impacts of climate change and sea level rise on its people and natural resource and promote ecosystem-based adaptation strategies.

The objective of this systems approach is to increase resilience and maintain essential ecosystems services while at the same time reducing the vulnerability of the people, their livelihoods and nature in the face of climate change.
 
Mr Agricole reinforced that position by making it plain that the discussions and knowledge sharing during the workshop were aimed at “focusing on the ‘how’ to address the climate change impact on economies, fisheries, food security, as well as marine and coastal ecosystems”.

Vision of WIO-CC

For the next twenty years, the WIO-CC has adopted the following vision:
 
“By 2032, in the face of climate change threats, the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge will be a strong and vocal partnership of western
 
Indian Ocean island and coastal countries and stakeholders, working together to build and implement climate-resilient development options and strategies to achieve a balance between enhanced coastal livelihoods and economies and effective conservation of biodiversity, ultimately contributing to greater levels of social security among coastal communities.”
 
The vision and outline of the strategy will be presented for consideration by contracting parties during the seventh Conference of Parties (COP7) of the Nairobi convention to be held in December 2012.
 
The contracting parties will be invited to endorse and contribute fully to the Western Indian Ocean Coastal challenge initiative and encourage strong partnership between the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge under the leadership of the Seychelles government, the Nairobi Convention secretariat and the Indian Ocean Commission to align regional projects and programmes that aim to secure coastal economies in the face of climate change.

 It is therefore expected that the contracting parties would:
• Endorse the partnership between the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge under the leadership of the government of the Seychelles, the Nairobi Convention secretariat and the Indian Ocean Commission  (COI) to structure the WIO-CC and work on aligning regional projects and programmes that aim to secure sustainable coastal economies in the face of climate change;

• Endorse the recommendations of the declaration of the WIO-CC members, dated October 26, 2012 (see full declaration below);

• Request the continued support of the Indian Ocean commission through its projects  (e.g. ISLANDS project) and the partners of WIO–CC to finalise the WIO-CC strategy and action plan;

• Mandate the Nairobi Convention secretariat to incorporate into its work plan support and reporting on the implementation of the WIO-CC.

Recommendations adopted at the workshop

In order to achieve this vision, the WIO-CC will be a mechanism to align regional projects and programmes that aim to secure coastal economies in the face of climate change.

 To ensure the realisation of the WIO-CC vision, the countries and partners of the WIO-CC proposed on October 26, 2012, at the end of their second regional meeting, the following recommendations:

o Continue regional and interregional exchange of experiences with other similar initiatives such as the Micronesia Challenge;

o Formalise the role of the Consortium for the Conservation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean to provide the following specific support: assistance with human and financial resource mobilisation, technical and informational support, communication and advocacy.

 This support will be formalised through a memorandum of understanding that outlines specific roles and responsibilities of the institutions involved;

o Encourage the IOC to continue discussions with partners that can support implementation of the WIO-CC;

o The Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing States Issues of the Republic of Seychelles, Ronnie Jumeau, represents and actively promotes the WIO-CC in national, regional and international fora;
o The Minister for Environment and Energy of the Seychelles sends a letter to his counterpart ministers, including the Minister for Environment for Zanzibar, requesting nominations of national focal points for the WIO-CC;

o The third technical meeting of the WIO-CC be held at the same time as the IOC Council of Ministers, and that a timeline for the preparation and launch of the WIO-CC and mobilisation of leadership support be formalized.

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