Written by Carolin Hoffmann, Blue Solutions Initiative
The Nairobi Convention, a multi-institutional partnership dedicated to a prosperous and healthy Western Indian Ocean Region, organized a series of back-to-back meetings dedicated to Marine Spatial Planning, Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction and a number of further marine-related topics. Together with a number of involved institutions (UNEP-WCMC, WIOMSA, IUCN, IOC-UNESCO) Blue Solutions co-organized a workshop on Marine Spatial Planning on 13-15 November 2017.
Nine of the contracting parties of the Nairobi Convention participated in the 3-day meeting that aimed to develop a common understanding of Marine Spatial Planning in order to support the implementation of sustainable resource use planning in the Western Indian Ocean.
The location for the workshop, Mahe Island of the Seychelles, could not have been more inspirational: since 2014, the country has undergone different stages of the process for drafting a marine spatial plan that shall be finalized and approved by the Seychelles Cabinet by 2020. The workshop benefitted from insights into this particular process, and from a very open and motivated atmosphere among participants to learn from each other’s experiences.
Blue Planning in Practice
The Blue Solutions Initiative conducted an interactive afternoon session on one element of the Blue Planning in Practice (BPiP) training course on marine spatial planning. The participants took on the role of advisors to the government of the fictitious coastal state “Bakul” and faced questions such as: what are the essential ecosystem services in Bakul and which user groups and economic sectors do they support? What is the status of these natural resources and what are anticipated trends? Do we need Blue Planning? If so, how can we convince our governor to initiate such a process?
The session was a vivid contribution to a very forward looking workshop that provided contracting parties with a platform for discussions, sharing expectations and thoughts on possible next steps. We are much looking forward to future opportunities for further collaboration around trainings on Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning in the Western Indian Ocean!