Western Indian Ocean

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In August 2011, BirdLife International entered into a collaborative agreement with Nairobi Convention Secretariat on a project titled: Enhancing the Protection of Birds in the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Nairobi Convention. The collaborative project was focused on reviewing the bird listed in the Convention’s 'Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region.

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The Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) was established as a regional, non-profit, membership organization in 1993 and registered in Zanzibar, Tanzania in 1994 as a non-governmental organization. The organization is dedicated to promoting the educational, scientific and technological development of all aspects of marine sciences throughout the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region (consisting of 10 countries: Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius, Réunion (France)), with a view toward sustaining the use and conservation of its marine resources. WIOMSA has a particular interest in linking the knowledge that emerges from research to the management and governance issues that affect marine and coastal ecosystems in the region.

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Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO) was initiated in 1999 as a response to the El-Niño related mass bleaching and mortality of corals in the Indian Ocean in 1998. It is a non-profit research organization, registered in Kenya, with a network of projects, collaborators and partners that extends across the Indian Ocean. Focusing initially on Eastern Africa, Western Indian Ocean Islands and South Asia. Initially called ‘Coral Reef Degradation in the Indian Ocean’, due to the widespread impact of the mass mortality of corals, it changed its name in 2004-5 to reflect broader challenges and opportunities in the coastal marine systems of the region.

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Blue Ventures develops transformative approaches for catalysing and sustaining locally led marine conservation. It works in places where the ocean is vital to local cultures and economies, and are committed to protecting marine biodiversity in ways that benefit coastal people. Blue Ventures started over a decade ago, surveying coral reefs in the Mozambique channel.
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Invasive alien species (IAS) are now generally recognised as one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. They also have serious economic, environmental and health impacts and, as a result, can place major constraints on development and natural resource use. In the marine realm there are examples of invasive species from all different taxonomic groups, ranging from plants, to vertebrates and even microbes.

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The current assessment report is intended to support the development of a private sector engagement strategy for the WIO region which in turn will lead to partnerships aimed at reducing stress on its ecosystems. For the purposes of this report, the private sector is considered to be those enterprises that are run by individuals and companies and are not state controlled. These range from microenterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, including financial institutions, trade associations and organizations that represent private sector interests and philanthropic foundations.

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The NMC’s strategic priority for biodiversity conservation has been confirmed by various processes, including the Indian Ocean Commission WIOMER process, the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity “EBSA” process.

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The Regional State of Coast Report for the western Indian Ocean (WIO) provides insights into the enormous economic potential around the WIO, the consequential demand for marine ecosystem goods and services to match the increasing human population, the pace and scale of environmental changes taking place in the region and the opportunities to avoid serious degradation in one of the world’s unique and highly biodiverse oceans.