Joint management area members meet stakeholders | 04 July 2019
Members from Mauritius and Seychelles involved in the joint management of the extended continental shelf of the Mascarene Plateau organised an engagement workshop yesterday at the STC conference room.
The Joint Management Area (JMA) is the mechanism of joint jurisdiction between Seychelles and Mauritius over an area of the seabed and its underlying sub-soil in the Mascarene Plateau region. It excludes the water and living organisms above the shelf.
A treaty was signed in 2012 and the two island nations secured rights to additional seabed covering over 400,000 square kilometres in the Indian Ocean. The process involved the preparation of a joint continental shelf submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf under an internationally agreed process established by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Seychelles and Mauritius have established the world’s first Joint Management Zone covering such an area, and a joint commission to coordinate and manage the exploration, conservation and development of the living and non-living resources of the seabed in the area.
The purpose of yesterday’s meeting was to provide stakeholders with an overview of the UNDP-JMA demonstration project and to seek out their inputs of the availability and access to marine spatial data pertaining to JMA and to gain an understanding of stakeholders’ interests in JMA and in particular the range of activities currently being undertaken in and adjacent to the waters of the JMA.
Allen Cedras, the international project manager of JMA demonstration project, said that “the project is UNDP-GEF funded and includes various activities such as capacity building”.
The joint management demonstration project will help Seychelles and Mauritius in the development and demonstration of new management approaches, bridging the gap between science and policy in the extended continental shelf. This can provide lessons and management techniques that can be replicated both within the western Indian Ocean as well as other similar marine time zones globally.
The JMA project aims at achieving its objective through building technical and management capacity in support of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and effective management of the joint management area, the development of data and information system along with the programme of data captures and gap filling as a foundation for an adaptive management strategy and adopting and implementing MSP approach with the objective of improving and implementing effective decision-making for activities within the joint management area.