Together for the sustainable conservation of the Western Indian Ocean
Indeed, the Western Indian Ocean is considered the second peak in the world in terms of coral biodiversity and its resources and assets were valued up to US$333.8 billion in 2017.
Governments and civil society representatives from the six countries, such as WWF and CORDIO, werw also participating on the meeting to brainstorm about how to value, protect, and even enhance the natural ocean assets that are central to their economies.
Establishing fisheries management plans for key shared fish stocks such as tuna, promoting improved governance through delineating and planning maritime spaces, and tackling the risks posed by pollution and climate change, the six countries are laying down the base for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14. This goal was launched by the United Nations in 2015 and aims to « conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development » by 2030.
New initiatives emerged during this four-day meeting. For instance, a new regional center for fishing surveillance, or an award for the “most resilient coastal city or island” that could be delivered every 1 or 2 years to engage cities and small islands to take substantial actions against climate change. With growing tourism to the region, the winners and those cities and islands competing would be able to showcase and market their sustainability initiatives, as well as contributing to improve the livelihoods of local communities.