ARC Briefing Note on the Outcomes of the Joint COPs of the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

 

Vol. 11 No. 1
Friday, 16 November 2007

ARC BRIEFING NOTE ON THE OUTCOMES OF THE JOINT COPS OF THE ABIDJAN AND NAIROBI CONVENTIONS:

7-8 NOVEMBER 2007

The Joint Conferences of the Contracting Parties (COP) of the Abidjan Convention for the Cooperation in the Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment in the West and Central Africa Region and the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region took place on 7 November 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The session marked the eighth session of the Abidjan Convention and the fifth session of the Nairobi Convention. The Joint COPs were followed by a meeting of the Joint Heads of Delegation of the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) on 8 November.

The first jointly held COPs were organized in collaboration with the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) and NEPAD, under the umbrella of the African Union, and hosted by the Government of South Africa. The Joint COPs met under the theme ‘Building on Success’, and focused on the progress and successes achieved by governments, key partners and stakeholders towards the implementation of the work programmes of the two Conventions and the Environment Action Plan of the Environment Initiative of NEPAD. Over 150 delegates, including 40 Ministers, attended the Joint COPs.

Discussions at the Joint COPs focused on: ecosystems-based management approaches, especially in the context of the connection between land and sea; draft protocols concerning land-based sources and activities (LBSA Protocols); the Abidjan Convention’s coordination structures; oil and gas exploration and exploitation; strategic environmental assessments; implementation of Article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); climate change adaptation and mitigation; sustainable financing; enhanced visibility for the Conventions; and the drafting of a Joint Declaration.

The Joint COPs were preceded by a number of preparatory meetings for each Convention. Parallel stakeholder meetings, held on 5 November, discussed issues relating to how best to involve non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Conventions’ work and recommended priorities for the Conventions. Parallel experts meetings for each Convention, held on 5-6 November, and a joint experts meeting, reviewed and made recommendations on the draft Work Programmes for the Conventions for 2008-2011, and forwarded draft decisions for adoption by the COPs.

In addition, a meeting of the ‘Addressing land-based activities in the Western Indian Ocean’ (WIO-LaB) project steering committee took place and UNEP organized meetings on South–South Cooperation and the implementation of the Shelf Programme on the delineation of the continental shelf. The session also witnessed the launch of the Consortium for Conservation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in Western Indian Ocean (WIO-C), and the Regional Conservation Strategy for the West Africa Manatee.

The Joint COPs concluded with the adoption of a number of decisions. The Abidjan COP took decisions on: the Work Programme for 2008–2011; implementation of Abidjan Convention and action plan as instruments of sustainable development; measures to accelerate ratification of the relevant global and regional conventions dealing with marine safety and marine pollution prevention and mitigation; protection of ecosystems and endangered species; assessment and monitoring activities in the region; ratification and revision of the Abidjan Convention and related Protocol; strengthening partnerships and the institutional and coordination mechanism; financial matters; and reactivation of the Abidjan Convention.

The Nairobi COP adopted decisions regarding: Work Programme for 2008-2011; protection of ecosystems and endangered species; assessment and monitoring activities; revision of the Nairobi Convention and related Protocols; strengthening partnerships and institutional mechanisms; small island developing States; support to Somalia and financial matters. The COP also considered the draft Joint Declaration and forwarded it to the Secretariat with amendments.

The meeting of the Joint Heads of Delegation of the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions and NEPAD discussed and adopted the Joint Declaration of the Abidjan Convention and Nairobi Convention on the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment.

This African Regional Coverage Briefing Note provides an overview of the key outcomes of the Joint COPs and reports on the meeting of the Joint Heads of Delegation and NEPAD. The Briefing Note also contains an overview of the regional seas conventions and programmes in Africa, with a focus on the: Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions; AMCEN; NEPAD programmes; and UNEP.

OVERVIEW OF REGIONAL SEAS CONVENTIONS AND PROGRAMMES IN AFRICA

The Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions provide a framework for regional cooperation in the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment, for sustainable socioeconomic growth and prosperity in Africa.

ABIDJAN CONVENTION

The Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment in the West and Central African Region, commonly known as the Abidjan Convention, was adopted in 1981 and entered into force in 1984. The Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution in Cases of Emergency was adopted by 11 countries at a Conference in Abidjan in March, 1981. By 2007, 14 countries out of 22 had signed, acceded to, or ratified the Abidjan Convention and includes the following Contracting Parties: Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Togo.

The COP has met seven times since 1997: COP-1 in Mahé Island, Seychelles from 17-18 March 1997; COP-2 in Port Luis, Mauritius from 2-4 November 1999; COP-3 in Maputo, Mozambique from 5-7 December 2001; COP-4 in Antananarivo, Madagascar from 6-8 July 2004; COP-5 in Accra, Ghana from 20-24 March 200; COP-6, Cote d’Ivoire, from 16-17 May 2002; and COP-7 in Libreville, Gabon from 22-23 March 2005.

NAIROBI CONVENTION

The Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region, commonly known as the Nairobi Convention, was signed in 1985 and entered into force on 30 May 1996. The Nairobi Convention area extends from Somalia in the north to South Africa, covering 10 States, five of which are island States in the Western Indian Ocean. The Contracting Parties are Comoros, France (La Reunion), Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and the South Africa.

The Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 17-21 June 1985 and adopt a number of key outcomes, namely the: Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region; the Protocol concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region (SPAW Protocol); the Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Marine Pollution in Cases of Emergency in the Eastern African Region (Emergency Protocol); and four Conference resolutions, three of them dealing with programme implementation and with institutional and financial arrangements. The COP has met several times since 1985: COP-1 in Mahé Island, Seychelles from 17-18 March 1997; COP-2 in Port Luis, Mauritius from 204 November 1999; COP-3 in Maputo, Mozambique from 5-7 December 2001; and COP-4 in Antananarivo, Madagascar, from 6-8 July 2004.

AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT

The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) was established in 1985 to strengthen cooperation between African governments on economic, technical and scientific activities in order to halt the degradation of Africa’s environment and satisfy the food and energy needs of the continent’s people. For almost 22 years, AMCEN has facilitated the broadening of the political and public policy legitimacy of environmental concerns in Africa.

AMCEN’s mandate is to: provide information and advocacy for environmental protection in Africa; ensure that the basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner; ensure socio-economic development is realized at all levels; and ensure that agricultural activities and practices meets food security of the region.

AMCEN guided the development and subsequent adoption of the action plan by the Assembly of the African Union at its second ordinary session, held in Maputo, Mozambique in July 2003. The action plan takes fully into account the relevant recommendations on NEPAD contained in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation as well as recommendations agreed upon during the discussion on the environment component of NEPAD held in during the 23rd session of the UN Environment Programme’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum.

NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT

NEPAD was enthusiastically received and unanimously adopted in the form of Declaration 1 (XXXVII) as Africa’s principal agenda for development, providing a holistic, comprehensive integrated strategic framework for the socio-economic development of the continent, within the institutional framework of the African Union. The primary objective of NEPAD is to eradicate poverty in Africa and to place African countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development to thus halt the marginalization of Africa in the globalization process. NEPAD called for the development and adoption of an environment initiative - a coherent action plan and strategy - to address the region’s environmental challenges, while at the same time combating poverty and promoting social and economic development. The environment initiative identified priority action regarding: combating land degradation, drought and desertification; wetlands; invasive species; marine and coastal resources; cross-border conservation of natural resources; climate change; and cross-cutting issues.

Since its adoption, NEPAD has increasingly gained recognition from the international community and Africa’s development partners. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation adopted at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, recognized that NEPAD provides a framework for sustainable development in Africa. In November 2002, the United Nations General Assembly passed a declaration (A/RES/57/2) and a resolution on NEPAD (A/RES/57/7), affirming the UN system’s support for the implementation of NEPAD and recommending that the international community use NEPAD as its framework to support development in Africa.

ENVIRONMENT ACTION PLAN FOR THE NEPAD ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE: The overall objectives of the action plan are to complement relevant African processes, including the work programme of the revitalized AMCEN, with a view of improving environmental conditions in Africa. It also aims to build Africa’s capacity to implement regional and international environmental agreements and to effectively address the African environmental challenges in the overall context of the implementation of NEPAD. The action plan is organized into clusters of programmatic and project activities to be implemented over an initial period of 10 years covering the following priority sectors and cross-cutting issues as identified in Environment Initiative of NEPAD, namely: combating land degradation, drought and desertification; wetlands; invasive species; marine, coastal and freshwater resources; cross-border conservation of natural resources; climate change; and cross-cutting issues.

NEPAD COASTAL AND MARINE PROGRAMME: The Coastal and Marine Programme (NEPAD COSMAR) of the NEPAD Environment Initiative had a head start through a Global Environment Facility (GEF) medium-sized project: the “African Process for the Development and Protection of the Coastal and Marine Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa” that involved eleven coastal states from November 2000 to September 2002. Through this project, participating countries carried out a comprehensive assessment of the causes of degradation in the coastal and marine environments. A Partnership conference at the level of Heads of State held in conjunction with the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in September 2002 endorsed the output of the African process and approved its integration as the coastal and marine programme of the NEPAD Environment Initiative.

The overall objectives of COSMAR are to contribute to the reversal of the trend of marine environmental degradation that impedes poverty alleviation efforts in Africa, and mainstream coastal and marine issues within NEPAD and serve as the focal point for engagement with Africa’s principal socioeconomic development agenda. Six priority areas have been identified for future interventions under the NEPAD coastal and marine (NEPAD COSMAR) thematic area of the NEPAD Environment initiative, namely: conservation of key habitats; sustainable development and use of living resources; coastal erosion; integrated coastal zone management; pollution; and climate change. The activities of COSMAR programme are executed in close collaboration with the Regional Coordinating Units (RCUs) of the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions as well as other Regional Seas Programmes involving African countries. The NEPAD-COSMAR secretariat is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

ACTION PLAN FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICAN FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE: The NEPAD-Fish for All Summit was held on 22–25 August 2005 in Abuja, Nigeria, to draw global attention to the vital role of fisheries and aquaculture in meeting Africa’s development. The Heads of State Summit (25 August) endorsed a common African objectives for the future of fisheries and aquaculture in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, as outlined in the Abuja Declaration on Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa. The Summit agreed to a shared understanding among key stakeholders from public, private and civil society sectors of the current status and likely future trends of African fisheries and aquaculture; priorities for investment in the future development of fisheries and aquaculture in Africa within the context of the NEPAD programme; and future directions for research and capacity building in support of these investment priorities.

The NEPAD Action Plan for the Development of African Fisheries and Aquaculture describes these investment areas for inland fisheries, coastal and marine fisheries, and aquaculture. The Action Plan serves as an Africa-wide framework for developing specific interventions by stakeholders at Regional Economic Community (REC) and national levels, taking into account their ongoing initiatives and development priorities. The Action Plan emphasizes the contributions by the fisheries sector to NEPAD’s development objectives and seeks to strengthen the linkages between fisheries and other economic sectors in order to increase development benefits and improve sustainability. The Action Plan identified three overarching priority areas where further investment can help to increase the development value of the fisheries sector, namely for inland fisheries, coastal and marine fisheries and aquaculture.

UN ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME

In the last eight years, these two Conventions have—in partnership with organizations including UNEP, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UN Development Programme (UNDP) and often with Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding—assisted in establishing a number of important programmes: These include the Western Indian Ocean Land Based Activities (WIO-LaB) project, South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Project, Agulhas and Somalia Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) project and the ‘Consortium for Conservation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean’ under the Nairobi Convention.

Under the Abidjan Convention, key projects include the Guinea Current LME, Canary Current LME, and Benguela Current LME. UNEP has also built partnerships with the Regional Programme for the Conservation of the Coastal and Marine Zones of West Africa (PRCM). The PRCM is a partnership between IUCN- the World Conservation Union, WWF and Wetlands International.  Increasingly, these partnerships are being linked to LME projects and the newly established interim Benguela and Guinea Current Commissions. UNEP has also moved forward to strengthen the regional coordination mechanisms of the Abidjan Convention and has appointed a full time senior staff member to support the Abidjan Convention Secretariat. The Secretariat has also taken steps to strengthen the role of National Focal Points in the implementation of the Work Programmes of both the Conventions for 2008-2012.

With support from the GEF and the UNEP Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA), both Conventions have developed new Protocols on Land-based Sources of pollution and Activities. These Protocols have been developed in partnership with the UNIDO and UNDP through the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) project (for the Abidjan Convention) and WIO-LaB project (for the Nairobi Convention). UNEP has also supported 18 countries to help the National Focal Points to initiate compilations of national status reports on the coastal and marine environment. These reports will lay the basis for an effective and continuous reporting mechanism for the Conventions to support the prioritization process and implementation of the Conventions, and will assist Contracting Parties to meet their reporting obligations.

UNEP JOINT SECRETARIAT: The two Conventions are coordinated by a Joint Secretariat hosted by UNEP under the Division of Environment Policy Implementation (DEPI) and based in the Regional Office for Africa (ROA). The Joint Secretariat is supported by Regional Coordinating Units (RCUs) in Seychelles and Cote d’Ivoire, a forum of National Focal Points, and thematic and technical task forces. The Joint Secretariat also works closely with collaborating partners such as regional NGOs and various national and research institutions.

The Nairobi Convention has two offices: one based at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and the other in the Seychelles. The UNEP-based secretariat works closely with two RCU in Abidjan and Seychelles, and is responsible for providing overall technical coordination, planning and developing the work programme of the Convention and monitoring the progress in its implementation. The RCU based in the Seychelles is responsible for activities geared towards enhancing political visibility for the Nairobi Convention, and resource mobilization.

UNEP REGIONAL SEAS PROGRAMME: The UNEP Regional Seas Programme (RSP) covers 18 regions of the world, making it one of the most globally comprehensive initiatives for the protection of marine and coastal environments, namely the: Antarctic, Arctic, Baltic, Black Sea, Caspian, Eastern Africa, East Asian Seas, Mediterranean, North-East Atlantic, North-East Pacific, North-West Pacific, Pacific, Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, ROPME Sea Area, South Asian Seas, South-East Pacific, the Western Africa and the Wider Caribbean. The UNEP/RSP has since its inception 30 years ago constituted a unique approach to the protection of the coastal and marine environment. A major role of UNEP/RSP is to assist the RSP to fulfill their responsibilities towards the priorities identified in relevant UNEP Governing Council decisions, to contribute to reaching the relevant targets of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Millennium Development Goals, and in reconciling global conservation priorities with the realities of implementation at the regional level.

UNEP GPA: The GPA was adopted by 108 governments and the European Commission Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt a Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, held in Washington, D.C., from 23 October to 3 November 1995. The Conference designated UNEP as the Secretariat of the GPA to lead the coordination of GP implementation. UNEP established the GPA Coordination Office in The Hague, the Netherlands, in 1997. The GPA was designed to be a source of conceptual and practical guidance to be drawn on by national and/or regional authorities in devising and implementing sustained action to prevent, reduce, control and/or eliminate marine degradation from land-based activities. The GPA calls on states to: establish priorities based on assessments of the severity and impacts of contaminants, applying integrated coastal area and watershed management approaches; set management objectives, including goals, targets and timetables, to address priority problems with regard to source categories and affected areas; identify, evaluate and select strategies and measures to achieve these objectives; and develop criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of strategies and measures.

OUTCOMES OF THE STAKEHOLDER AND EXPERT MEETINGS

STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOPS

Stakeholder workshops for the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions were held in parallel on 5 November. They were attended by representatives of governments, United Nations specialized agencies and other international organizations, regional organizations, and representatives of universities and research institutions in the region. Following the opening of the workshops and organizational matters, the Abidjan Convention stakeholders deliberated on the Convention’s structure, visibility and sustainable financing and made recommendations regarding COP decisions and the Work Programme for 2008-2011.

Nairobi Convention stakeholders discussed the Convention’s visibility and sustainable financing, progress on implementation of WIO-LaB’s Strategic Action Plan (SAP), and prepared recommendations regarding the COP decisions and the Work Programme for 2008-2011. The outputs from the workshops consisted of recommendations on the draft Work Programmes and draft decision of the Joint COPs. These were forwarded to the parallel experts meetings.

ABIDJAN CONVENTION: Participants of the stakeholder workshop proposed that the Secretariat, inter alia:

  • take leadership and assert its role in coordinating with other conventions, programmes, projects and bodies;

  • identify projects and programmes being carried out under the Convention and list them in a register;

  • promote effective coordination at the regional and national level by strengthening the Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) based in Abidjan through capacity building;

  • develop a mechanism for monitoring compliance; and

  • develop projects and apply to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for funding.

Participants also recommended that parties develop national legislation and action plans on matters covered by the Abidjan Convention and called on stakeholders to integrate their activities with the priorities set by the RCU.

NAIROBI CONVENTION: Participants suggested that the Work Programme should, inter alia:

  • undertake strategic environmental assessments for oil and gas development, taking into consideration the potential for transboundary impacts and mitigation measures as well as local community welfare;

  • undertake cooperative assessments on invasive species with a view to developing management plans, in particular the management of invasive species in Marine Protected Areas;

  • promote good practices in tourism development in coastal areas in order to protect biodiversity, and the rights and well-being of local communities;

  • develop a regional information system on the Western Indian Ocean marine and coastal environment and its management; and

  • develop marine biodiversity databases.

  • Participants also made a number of suggestions regarding the draft decisions, including:

  • encourage the Secretariat to build upon existing programmes and cooperate with other bodies to further the objectives of the Convention;

  • request parties to recognize oil and gas development as an important issue and to ensure that strategic environmental assessments are carried out;

  • urge the Secretariat to finalize the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Global Invasive Species Programme and the International Oceans Institute with the view to addressing invasive species in the Nairobi and Abidjan Convention areas;

  • encourage youth to be engaged in marine programmes; and

  • request the Secretariat to further strengthen fundraising mechanisms.

EXPERT MEETINGS

Expert meetings for the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions were held in parallel from 5-6 November. Following the opening sessions and organizational matters, the meetings deliberated a number of issues, including: decisions and the 2008–2011 Work Programme including the LBSA Protocol; strategy document (for the Abidjan Convention) and the SAP document (for the Nairobi Convention); financial report; and the draft Joint Declaration.

ABIDJAN CONVENTION: The experts meeting made a number of recommendations for consideration by the COP on the Work Programme and decisions, including:

  • having a four year Work Programme (2008-2011);

  • including the Global Initiative-West and Central Africa programme in the Work Programme;

  • including assessment and evaluation of ecosystems goods and services in the assessment of ecosystems and resources;

  • incorporating climate change in cross-cutting and emerging issues;

  • revising the Emergency Protocol by December 2008; and

  • organizing a Conference of Plenipotentiaries for the adoption of the LBSA Protocol by December 2008.

NAIROBI CONVENTION: The experts meeting considered the draft decisions and made a number of points and suggested amendments to the text, including:

  • adding a reference endorsing the establishment of a Western Indian Ocean Marine Turtle Task Force, in partnership with the Convention on Migratory Species Indian Ocean South East Asia (CMS/IOSEA) Marine Turtle MoU;

  • noting activities with transboundary effects, including transboundary projects and programmes, in order to identify threats and opportunities in the marine and coastal environment, particularly relating to oil transport and development;

  • recommending that the Secretariat prepare for a Conference of Plenipotentiaries with regard to the LBSA Protocol, and to organize the negotiations on the text;

  • encouraging parties to promote the principles of South-South cooperation;

  • removing a paragraph dealing with training parties in negotiating as a regional block with respect to fisheries;

  • developing projects on adaptation to climate change, taking into account the specific situation of small island developing States (SIDS);

  • developing research projects to determine the impact of sea level rise and storm surges on coastal habitats and the risks these pose to coastal communities on SIDS;

  • stressing the importance for countries to submit an application for delineating their continental shelf under UNCLOS Article 76;

  • removing the decision regarding Article 76 due to the complexity of the issue, which they felt requires further information and discussion; and

  • suggesting the Secretariat meets with each country to discuss about paying unpaid pledges, considering the context of each country.

JOINT EXPERTS MEETING: A meeting of experts on both the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions took place in the afternoon of 6 November. After the opening of the meeting and organizational matters, participants heard presentations on a number of topics, including: UNCLOS Article 76 by the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea; delineation of the continental shelf, including data facilitation and capacity building by UNEP/GRID-Arendal Continental Shelf Programme; the outcomes of the experts meetings of the two Conventions the challenges and opportunities presented by oil and gas by WWF-East Africa Marine Eco-region; the newly established Africa Centre for Climate and Earth System Science (project by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research; South-South Cooperation by the UNEP Division of Regional Cooperation; and the draft Joint Declaration by the Secretariat.

Following a discussion of the draft Joint Declaration, participants were requested to give their proposed amendments in writing to the Secretariat. The meeting closed after comments from the Interim Coordinators of both the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions.

OUTCOMES OF THE EIGHTH SESSION OF THE ABIDJAN CONVENTION COP

The eighth session of the Contracting Parties of the Abidjan Convention COP took place on 7 November. Following opening statements, the COP elected officers and adopted the agenda and organization of work. South Africa was elected Chair of the Bureau, with the Gambia and Senegal as Vice-chairs and Ghana as Rapporteur. The COP was chaired by Rejoice Mabudafhasi, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism; Mamadou Cham, Gambia’s Minister of Environment served as Vice-chair and Ahmed Yirimea Awudu, Ghana’s Deputy Minister, Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Ghana, served as Rapporteur.

The COP deliberated the report of the UNEP Executive Director, discussed draft decisions forwarded by the experts meeting, and adopted decisions regarding: Work Programme for 2008–2011; implementation of Abidjan Convention and action plan as instruments of sustainable development; measures to accelerate ratification of the relevant global and regional conventions dealing with marine safety and marine pollution prevention and mitigation; protection of ecosystems and endangered species; assessment and monitoring activities in the region; ratification and revision of the Abidjan Convention and related Protocol; strengthening partnerships and the institutional and coordination mechanism; financial matters; and reactivation of the Abidjan Convention.

COP DECISIONS

WORK PROGRAMME FOR 2008–2011: In the decision (CP 8/1), the COP agreed to change the programme planning cycle to allow time for the implementation of programmes and approved the Work Programme for 2008-2011. The COP decided that the Work Programme should focus on the following thematic areas: assessment of goods and services provided by the coastal and marine ecosystems and habitats; management aimed at implementation of programmes and activities that seek to reduce or prevent degradation of the coastal and marine environment; coordination and legal aspects, including the review and updating of the Abidjan Convention and its related Protocol, improving coordination of activities and information exchange, and institutional strengthening for the implementation of the Convention; information and education, focusing on the exchange of information with communities, as well as education, awareness raising, advocacy, community empowerment and capacity building; and cross cutting and emerging issues, and funding strategies.

The COP requested the Secretariat to continue to collaborate with, and mobilize support from, other relevant institutions within and outside the region to ensure cooperation in the implementation of the Work Programme and exchange of views on the developments and protection of the marine and coastal environment in order to avoid duplication of effort in the activities and actions benefiting the region. The COP also requested the Secretariat to strengthen the institutional and coordination mechanism of the Convention, including the RCU and the National Focal Points. The COP further requested Focal Points, who have not yet done so, to establish inter-ministerial committees, in order to improve the implementation of the Work Programme.

The COP also urged Contracting Parties to implement country-specific programmes and activities in support of, or complementary to, the Work Programme.

IMPLEMENTATION OF ABIDJAN CONVENTION AND ACTION PLAN AS INSTRUMENTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: In the decision (CP 8/2), the COP reiterated the importance of the Abidjan Convention and its action plan as instruments for sustainable development and as a platform for the implementation of the marine and coastal environment programmes of NEPAD, AMCEN and other interregional processes. The COP urged Contracting Parties to harmonize their national projects and programmes with relevant regional approaches and needs, and to develop the necessary policy and legal instruments in order to implement the Abidjan Convention and its Protocol. The COP also requested the Secretariat to strengthen collaboration with the secretariats of the relevant multilateral environmental conventions.

MEASURES TO ACCELERATE RATIFICATION OF THE RELEVANT GLOBAL AND REGIONAL CONVENTIONS DEALING WITH MARINE SAFETY AND MARINE POLLUTION PREVENTION AND MITIGATION: In the decision (CP 8/3), the COP endorsed the Regional Strategy and Action Plan on Ballast Water as developed through Globallast, with a view to incorporating it into the current Work Programme, and urged Contracting Parties to ratify and implement the International Convention on the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004.

PROTECTION OF ECOSYSTEMS AND ENDANGERED SPECIES: In the decision (CP 8/4), the COP endorsed and supported the use of the ecosystem-based approach as a tool for conserving the coastal and marine areas including the involvement of ‘up-stream’ countries. The COP agreed to link the management of river basins and coastal areas to ensure sustainability and strengthen and expand the network of Marine Protected Areas, ensuring adequate representation of the ecosystems in the region and including no-take areas and transboundary areas. The COP adopted the recommendations included in the Conservation Strategy for the West African Manatee and the detailed action items described in the report of the first Regional Meeting for the Development of a Conservation Strategy for the West African Manatee, held in Dakar, Senegal, from 18-20 December 2006, as part of the Work Programme. The COP also requested the Secretariat to coordinate and develop a formal partnership with the Global Invasive Species Programme and other relevant partners to develop and implement a programme to address invasive species in marine and coastal environment.

ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING ACTIVITIES IN THE REGION: In the decision (CP 8/5), the COP agreed to strengthen collaboration with the various partners and stakeholders dealing with assessment and monitoring activities such as UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment, the Global Ocean Observing System for Africa, universities and other research institutions of the region. The COP also agreed to build national and regional capacity for monitoring and assessment activities, including the production of periodic status reports on the coastal and marine environment, and reiterated Contracting Parties’ reporting obligations especially with regard to compliance and enforcement of the Convention and its Protocol. The COP urged Contracting Parties to promote the use of Strategic and other Environmental Assessments with regards to transboundary projects and programmes, in particular for off-shore oil exploration and exploitation. The COP also encouraged Contracting Parties to actively engage in the process of defining the outer limits of their countries’ continental shelf, as specified under Article 76 of UNCLOS. The COP requested the Secretariat to pursue new partnerships and coordination mechanisms on assessment and monitoring activities with relevant organizations and institutions, and conduct a study on compliance and enforcement of the Convention and make proposals for improved compliance and enforcement.

RATIFICATION AND REVISION OF THE ABIDJAN CONVENTION AND RELATED PROTOCOL: In the decision (CP 8/6), the COP urged countries which have not ratified the Convention and its Protocol to expedite their action in that regard, in conformity with decision CP 6/1 of the sixth meeting of the Contracting Parties and requested the Secretariat to assist the RCU in taking further measures to encourage countries to ratify the Convention and its Protocol. The COP agreed to convene a Conference of Plenipotentiaries to negotiate and adopt draft Protocol on LBSA by the end of December 2008. The COP also requested the Secretariat, in collaboration with other partners such as the IMO and GCLME, to assist the process of revising the Emergency Pollution Protocol, and agreed to discuss these revisions at a Conference of Plenipotentiaries by the end of December 2008.

STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS AND THE INSTITUTIONAL AND COORDINATION MECHANISM: In the decision (CP 8/7), the COP requested the Secretariat to strengthen existing partnerships and collaborative arrangements, establish new ones and enhance the participation of civil society and the private sector in the development and implementation of the Work Programme. The COP agreed to enhance horizontal cooperation between regional seas conventions and action plans through coordination, collaboration, and participation of the Bureau of the Abidjan Convention in other regional seas meetings. The COP also encouraged Contracting Parties to incorporate the principles of South-South Cooperation in projects and programmes.

The COP requested the Secretariat to further revise and strengthen the coordination structures as per the recommendations detailed in the Work Programme, including the RCU and the Implementation Committee. The COP also requested the Secretariat to establish and strengthen coordinating structures linking the Convention with the interim Commissions of the LME (CLME) to support their work programmes and activities. The COP further requested the Secretariat to assist and organize training programmes for the Contracting Parties to negotiate as a regional block when establishing fisheries agreements with the EU.

The COP also requested stakeholders to integrate the Work Programme and projects into their work so as to strengthen implementation of the Convention.

FINANCIAL MATTERS: In the decision (CP 8/8), the COP urged all Contracting Parties to pay their arrears and to pay, before each COP, their assessed contributions to the Trust Fund. The COP decided to extend the West African Trust Fund up to December 2011 and agreed to enhance the financial sustainability of the Convention through: timely contribution to the Trust Fund by Contracting Parties; co-financing the implementation of projects and activities of common interest; mainstreaming coastal and marine issues into national policies, strategies, plans and budgets; and explore other financial mechanisms for implementation of the Work Programme.

REACTIVATION OF THE ABIDJAN CONVENTION: In the decision (CP 8/9), the COP agreed to set up a Working Group composed of the current members of the Bureau (South Africa, Gambia, Senegal and Ghana) to oversee the review process of the existing Trust Fund and prepare an action plan to operationalize the RCU in Cote d’Ivoire. The COP requested the UNEP Executive Director to review the Trust Fund, including the reasons for the low contribution by Contracting Parties, financing mechanisms, examination of the criteria/formula for determining contributions, and deduce options for consideration. The COP also requested the UNEP Executive Director to prepare an action plan for transferring the Secretariat to Cote D’Ivoire spelling out, amongst others, the details relating to relocation from Nairobi to Abidjan, human, financial and infrastructure resource needs; and phased transition from full UNEP support to ultimate ownership by the Contracting Parties. The COP further requests the UNEP Executive Director to support the Working Group and take steps to ensure that consultation takes place with the key stakeholders, including Commissions of LME’s operational in the Convention area.

The agreed to hold a Special Session of the Conference of the Contracting Parties of the Abidjan Convention back to back with the 12th session of AMCEN in June 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa, to consider and decide on the recommendations for reactivating the Convention.

JOINT DECLARATION: Delegates briefly considered the Joint Declaration and forwarded it to the Secretariat with, inter alia, a suggested amendment to a paragraph dealing with Article 76 of UNCLOS.

OUTCOMES OF THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE NAIROBI CONVENTION COP

Editor’s note: Decisions number are used as contained in UNEP(DEPI)/EAF/CP.5/5. Decisions numbers are currently being revised by the Secretariat are not yet available.

The fifth session of the Contracting Parties of the Nairobi Convention took place on 7 November. Following opening statements, the COP elected officers and adopted the agenda and organization of work. Mauritius van Schalkwyk, South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism was elected Chair of the Bureau, with Mozambique and Comoros as Vice-chairs and Seychelles as Rapporteur. The meeting was chaired by Sateeaved Seebaluck, Mauritius’ Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, with Siti Kassim, Comoros Minister of Agriculture, Fishing and Environment acting as Vice-chair and Jason Jacqueline, Seychelles’ Director of Pollution and Waste Management, Department of Environment, Seychelles as Rapporteur.

The COP deliberated the report of the UNEP Executive Director, discussed the draft decisions forwarded by the experts meeting and adopted decisions regarding: Work Programme for 2008-2011; protection of ecosystems and endangered species; assessment and monitoring activities; revision of the Nairobi Convention and related Protocols; strengthening partnerships and institutional mechanisms; small island developing States; support to Somalia and financial matters. The COP also considered the draft Joint Declaration and forwarded it to the Secretariat with amendments.

COP DECISIONS

WORK PROGRAMME FOR 2008–2011: In the decision (CP 5/1), the COP approves the new Work Programme and budget for 2008–2011 and requests the Secretariat to review the Work Programme to include clear-cut activities with appropriate timelines and indicators in the document by end of February 2008 and implement the Work Programme accordingly. The COP further decided that the components of the Work Programme should focus on the following thematic areas: assessment of coastal and marine ecosystems and habitats; management aimed at implementation of programmes and activities that seek to reduce or prevent degradation of the coastal and marine environment; coordination and legal aspects, including the revision and updating of the Nairobi Convention and its related Protocols, improving coordination of activities and information exchange, and institutional strengthening for the implementation of the Convention; information and education, focusing on the exchange of information with communities, as well as education, awareness raising, advocacy, community empowerment and capacity building; and cross-cutting and emerging issues, and funding strategies including cooperation with NGOs/ partners.

The COP took note of progress made in the development of an updated Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis and Strategic Action Plan concerning land based sources and activities for the Western Indian Ocean Region and requested the Secretariat to facilitate and expedite the negotiation and finalization, and to initiate as appropriate implementation, of any approved Strategic Action Plan for the Region on the basis of the current Framework Strategic Action Plan. The COP also requested the Secretariat to continue to collaborate with, and mobilize support from other relevant institutions within and outside the region to ensure cooperation in the implementation of the programme of work and exchange of views on the developments and protection of the marine and coastal environment in order to avoid duplication of effort in the activities and actions benefiting the region.

The COP further requested the Secretariat to strengthen the institutional and coordination mechanism of the Nairobi Convention, including the RCU and the National Focal Points, and requested the Focal Points, who have not yet done so, to establish inter-ministerial committees, in order to improve the implementation of the Work Programme for 2008–2011 The COP urged Contracting Parties to implement country-specific actions and activities that are in support of, or complementary to, the Work Programme of the Nairobi Convention and its Protocols and report on the progress to the Secretariat.

PROTECTION OF ECOSYSTEMS AND ENDANGERED SPECIES: In the decision (CP 5/2), the COP agrees to: support the use of the ecosystem-based management approach, including the involvement of upstream countries, for the conservation of the coastal and marine areas of the region; and endorsed the establishment of a Western Indian Ocean – Marine Turtle Task Force, in partnership with the CMS/IOSEA Marine Turtle Memorandum of Understanding, and noted of the Terms of Reference agreed by the fourth Meeting of IOSEA Signatory States.

ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING ACTIVITIES: In the decision (CP 5/3), the COP reiterated the Contracting Parties’ reporting obligations especially with regard to compliance and enforcement of the Convention and its Protocols and requested the Secretariat to conduct a study on compliance and enforcement of the Convention and its protocols since it came into force and make proposals on improved compliance and enforcement, and report on the results at the next COP. The COP urged Contracting Parties to promote the use of strategic and other environmental assessments with regard to projects and programmes with transboundary effects, including transboundary projects and programmes, in order to identify threats and opportunities in the marine and coastal environment, in particular as it concerns, coastal and off-shore oil development and oil transportation, also taking into account the role of International Maritime Organization (IMO). The COP also emphasized the development of: projects on adaptation to climate change, and leveraging funds from the international community, including from the GEF and the Adaptation Fund; and research projects and sharing of experiences to determine the impact of sea level rise and cyclones on coastal habitats and the risk that these pose to the Contracting Parties.

REVISION OF THE NAIROBI CONVENTION AND RELATED PROTOCOLS: In the decision (CP 5/4), the COP noted the progress being made in the preparation of the LBSA Protocol to the Nairobi Convention, prepared within the framework of the WIO-LaB project and in response to earlier decisions of the Contracting Parties. The COP requested the Secretariat to organize the negotiation to finalize the text of the LBSA Protocol and convene a Conference of Plenipotentiaries to adopt the Protocol by end of December 2009. The COP further noted the progress in the revision of the Nairobi Convention and requested the Secretariat to organize negotiations to finalize the text of the revised Convention and convene a Conference of Plenipotentiaries to adopt the revised Convention by end of December 2009. The COP also requested the Secretariat to look into the possibilities to create regional activity centres for the implementation of the convention protocols as appropriate and to report at the next COP.

STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS AND INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS: In the decision (CP 5/6), the COP noted the establishment of the Consortium for the Conservation of the Western Indian Ocean Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (WIO-C) and the Forum of Academic and Research Institutions, including their mandates and structures, as important mechanisms for coordination and implementation of the Work Programme. The COP requested the Secretariat to strengthen existing partnerships and collaborative arrangements, establish new ones and enhance the participation of civil society and the private sector in the development and implementation of the Work Programme of work. The COP also encouraged Contracting Parties to promote South-South Cooperation in projects and programmes.

SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES: In the decision (CP 5/7), the COP noted efforts of the Nairobi Convention to develop a project to address major environmental concerns and resource management in small island developing States, and to invited the funding agencies, including the GEF, to provide the necessary resources to implement the project. The COP also urged Contracting Parties to develop projects on adaptation to climate change, taking into account the specific situation of SIDS, and leverage funds for these projects from the international community, including the GEF and the Adaptation Fund among others. The COP also urged the development of research projects and the promotion of sharing of experiences to determine the impact of sea level rise and storm surges on coastal habitats and the risk that these pose to SIDS.

SUPPORT TO SOMALIA: In the decision (CP 5/8), the COP requests the Secretariat to facilitate measures to support the Somalia in its effort to improve environmental management, and also request the Secretariat to involve Somalia as appropriate in all regional programmes and projects.

FINANCIAL MATTERS: In the decision (CP 5/9), the COP agreed to extend the East African Trust Fund until such time as the Contracting Parties decide otherwise, and urged Contracting Parties to enhance the financial sustainability of the Convention through: timely contribution to the East African Trust Fund by Contracting Parties; payment of unpaid pledges; co-financing the implementation of projects and activities of common interest; mainstreaming the Convention in national policies, strategies, plans and budgets; explore other financial mechanisms for implementation of the Nairobi Convention and its Protocols including its Work Programme and any approved Strategic Action Programme. The COP also requested the Secretariat to reinforce the RCU based in Seychelles in order to allow it to fulfill its mandate and to consider the possibility of establishing the Secretariat at the RCU and report on progress made at the next COP.

JOINT MEETING OF HEADS OF DELEGATIONS AND NEPAD

The meeting of the Joint Heads of Delegation of the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions and NEPAD meeting took place on 8 November. After a number of presentations, including on the outcomes of the jointly held COPs, the Heads of Delegations discussed and adopted the Joint Declaration of the Abidjan Convention and Nairobi Convention on the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment.

This section provides a detailed overview of the statements and presentations, and summarizes the Joint Declaration.

OPENING SESSION

The meeting was Co-chaired by Rejoice Mabudafhasi, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Andre Okombi Salissa, Republic of Congo’s Minister of Tourism and Environment and current AMCEN President.

Peter Acquah, Officer in Charge of the UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa, welcomed heads of delegations and complemented them on the outcomes of the Joint COPs.

Co-chair Mabudafhasi, underscored the richness of the two regions’ coastal resources, and highlighted the importance of their sustainable management towards achieving the 2010 biodiversity target. She drew attention to South Africa’s strategic positioning for international shipping, highlighting the opportunities and threats posed by the marine environment and the need to work together to meet the challenges and reap the benefits it offers. Welcoming the news that Mauritania and Cape Verde are in the process of ratifying the Abidjan Convention, she urged heads of delegations to continue their collective efforts to address in a coordinated manner the sustainable management of coastal resources in the region.

Gengezi Mgidlana, Special Advisor to the NEPAD Chief Executive, highlighted the progress made in implementing the NEPAD Environmental Action Plan and outlined further initiatives such as the African Peer Review Mechanism. He underscored the integral nature of coastal resources and communities to NEPAD’s development agenda and underscored its commitment to continue to work with all parties towards sustainable development.

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, began by conceptualizing the two conventions as expressions of African nations’ taking charge of a key resource. Highlighting the importance of natural resources to Africa, he used UNEP’s Africa Environment Outlook Report to illustrate that while the continent’s natural capital continues to be “drawn down,” only some are benefiting, leaving the poor who most depend on natural resources further impoverished. The nature of marine resources are inherently transboundary, necessitating cooperation and joint action to deal with the challenges and opportunities and he suggested that within this context, the Regional Seas Conventions are useful tools for the management of Africa’s coastal resources. He highlighted GEF’s financial contributions to coastal and marine related projects in the region but criticized the lack of coordination among implementing agencies, stating that Africa is losing some of its most vital economic resources in goods and services due to the way the oceans are being managed. He ended by challenging Heads of Delegations to think differently about the management of Africa’s coastal and marine resources and pledged that UNEP will continue to work with the Conventions to support their aims.

Co-chair Okombi Salissa, thanked the UNEP Executive Director for UNEP’s technical and financial assistance to AMCEN. He explained that the 12th Session of AMCEN, to be held in June 2008 in Johannesburg will review the work undertaken under the NEPAD Environmental Action Plan and address ways and means of improving implementation.

The meeting adopted the agenda without amendment.

PRESENTATIONS

Joint Heads of Delegations heard presentations on a number of topics, including: Article 76 of UNCLOS by the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea; delineation of the continental shelf, including data facilitation and capacity building by UNEP/GRID-Arendal Continental Shelf Programme; Regional programme for marine and coastal conservation in Western Africa by WWF’s Africa and Madagascar Programme; NGO-led consortium for conservation of coastal and marine ecosystem in the West Indian Ocean region by WWF Tanzania; and on the launching of the Africa Coastal Tourism Project that includes Cameroon, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal Seychelles and Tanzania, by the UN Industrial Development Organization.

Ahmed Yirimea Awudu, Ghana’s Deputy Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, presented the major outcomes of the Abidjan Convention COP. He provided details of the COP’s deliberation and decisions, on the following topics: election of officers; the UNEP Executive Director’s Report; outcomes of the stakeholder and experts meeting; Work Programme for 2008-2011; activities of key partner organizations; political commitments and the next COP, which will be organized by Cote d’Ivoire.

Noellie Alexander, Seychelles Minister of Economic Planning, Information and Environment, presented the major outcomes of the Nairobi Convention COP. She provided details of the COP’s deliberations on the following topics: election of officers, work programme, financial report; draft LBSA Protocol; and the experts meeting report. She then provided a brief overview of the draft decisions; and details of the next COP, which will be organized by Mauritius.

JOINT DECLARATION

The Heads of Delegations considered a draft Joint Declaration which had been forwarded to the meeting, with amendments, from the Joint COPs. The only contentious issue related to a sub-paragraph dealing with the preparation of submissions to the Commission on the Limits on the Continental Shelf regarding the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. While Mauritius called for its deletion, Gambia and Gabon, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria supported its inclusion. The matter was resolved by the insertion of text qualifying that it applies only to “countries that wish to do so.”

The Joint Declaration of the Abidjan Convention and Nairobi Convention on the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment was then adopted by the Heads of Delegations.

FINAL TEXT: In the preamble, Ministers and Heads of Delegation representing Contracting Parties recognized: that the marine and coastal areas and the associated river basins are being affected by natural processes and anthropogenic activities; and the close ecological connection and economic connectivity between freshwater, coastal and marine environments and the associated impact of upstream activities on coastal ecosystems and the communities that depend on such ecosystem services for their livelihoods. Ministers and Heads of Delegation expressed concerned that climate change has far-reaching effects on their economies, societies and the environment, and noted the importance of undertaking strategic and other environmental assessments in order to avoid or mitigate adverse impacts on the environment and on ecosystem services, particularly in light of increased activity in the oil, gas and minerals sectors. Ministers and Heads of Delegation also emphasized the need for strengthening cooperation among Contracting Parties of the Abidjan Convention and Nairobi Convention and international organizations, as well as regional bodies concerned with the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment in sub-Saharan Africa. Ministers and Heads of Delegation further expressed their increased political resolve and commitment to conserve and sustainably develop the marine and coastal environment.

In several operative paragraphs, Ministers and Heads of Delegation agreed to:

  • continue to implement fully the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions and their Protocols as flexible and effective frameworks for the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment at national, subregional and regional levels;

  • strengthen and build upon existing national and regional institutions and frameworks for the implementation of national and regional strategies as well as programmes and projects for the protection, management and development of marine and coastal environment;

  • undertake strategic and other environmental assessments of activities that may have adverse impact on the coastal and marine environment, particularly those related to exploration, exploitation and transportation of oil, gas and minerals;

  • undertake strategic environmental assessments prior to exploitation and production of hydrocarbons;

  • sensitize at the highest political level the importance of the implementation of UNCLOS Article 76 in the context of socioeconomic development, and engage in the preparation of submission to the commission (for countries that wish to do so), on the limits on the continental shelf regarding the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles;

  • develop programmes anchored in the large marine ecosystems programmes and their evolving commissions as well as other active programmes in the Abidjan and Nairobi Convention areas;

  • promote cooperative and collaborative actions with multi-stakeholder partnerships to integrate marine and coastal environment activities into climate change mitigation and adaptation and programmes at national and regional levels;

  • take all appropriate measures to prevent, abate, combat and to the fullest possible extent mitigate coastal and marine pollution especially from land-based sources originating within territories of the Contracting Parties, and discharges and waste dumping from ships and offshore platforms;

  • encourage states sharing river basins with our countries that drain into the Atlantic Ocean and Western Indian Ocean, in recognition of the inter-relationship between fresh water and coastal ecosystems and the communities that depend on the ecosystem services for their livelihoods, to accede or participate in the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions;

  • strengthen the financial sustainability of the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions through: payment of arrears from Contracting Parties; timely contributions to the respective Trust Funds of the Conventions, co-financing and joint implementation of projects and activities of common interest, and mobilizing external funds for the implementation of the Work Programmes;

  • urge the Secretariat of the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions to develop joint programming and hold meetings or conferences of the parties so as to strengthen regional capacity to manage shared marine and coastal resources in sub-Saharan Africa; and

  • urge national and international institutions, the private sector, bilateral donors and multilateral funding agencies to support the implementation of the two Conventions and their Protocols through national and regional programmes and projects.

The Joint Declaration finally thanks the people and the Government of the Republic of South Africa for hosting the eighth Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Abidjan Convention and the fifth Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Nairobi Convention and also the first Joint Conference of the Contracting Parties of the two Conventions.

CLOSING SESSION

Co-chair Mabudafhasi, provided a brief summary of the meeting and thanked UNEP and NEPAD for partnering with South Africa to host the meeting. The meeting closed at 3:51 p.m.

GLOSSARY
 

AMCEN

CMS

COP

DEPI

GCLME

GEF

GPA

IMO

IOSEA

LBSA

LME

MoU

NEPAD

NEPAD COSMAR

NGOs

RCU

ROA

RSP

SAP

SIDS

UNCLOS

UNEP

WIO-C

WIO-LaB

African Ministerial Conference on Environment

Convention on Migratory Species

Conference of the Contracting Parties

Division of Environment Policy Implementation (UNEP)

Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem

Global Environment Facility

Global Programme of Action

International Maritime Organization

Indian Ocean-South East Asia

Land-based Sources and Activities

Large Marine Ecosystem

Memorandum of Understanding

New Partnership for Africa’s Development

Coastal and Marine Programme of NEPAD

Non-governmental organizations

Regional Coordinating Units

Regional Office for Africa (UNEP)

Regional Seas Programme

Strategic Action Plan

Small Island Developing States

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

UN Environment Programme

Consortium for Conservation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in Western Indian Ocean

Addressing land-based activities in the Western Indian Ocean

 

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