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Marine Spatial Planning, Mauritius, 22-23 November 2017

IORA Indian Ocean Conference on
"Marine Spatial Planning - Towards Sustainable Use of the Indian Ocean"
The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius
22-23 November 2017

Introduction

Over the past years, there has been a high and rapidly increasing demand for marine space for activities such as maritime shipping and fishing, tourism, aquaculture, renewable energy and ecosystem and biodiversity conservation. Such demands place multiple pressures on coastal resources. In order to promote a sustainable and integrated use of marine space, coastal States all over the world are now adopting an integrated planning and management approach through marine spatial planning.

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is the comprehensive knowledge process that can formulate  coordinated policies for the sustainable utilisation of marine resources in energy, industry, environment, recreation  for economic development. Marine Spatial Planning can also contribute to the effective management of marine activities  and marine and coastal resources by creating a framework for efficient, sustainable and evidence-based decision-making.

MSP requires the availability and analysis of high quality geospatial data originating from reliable sources, data that are accessible  through satellite and in-situ measurement through the conduct of scientific cruises. The Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) under the auspices of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS) and Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) aims at advancing our understanding of the Indian Ocean in order to enable informed decisions to support sustainable development of marine resources.

MSP will also complement the Blue Economy Initiative IORA by filling the knowledge gap in the processes now being implemented by Member States in the sustainable development in the Indian Ocean and its rsources.

With IORA Member States having sharp disparities at in scientific and technical levels of knowledge, a common regional arrangement, templates of best practices, enhanced ocean monitoring systems can assist in compliance of regulatory frameworks.

Objectives

The objectives of the conference are:

-To explore scope and potential of  MSP in IORA Member States;
-To promote sharing of experience and best practices in MSP in IORA Member States;
-To encourage collaboration in transfer of innovative and sustainable technology for MSP;
-To promote collaborative research and best practices on ocean data management in IORA; and
-To promote exchange of information on MSP between IORA Member States, including Small Island Developing States, through  regional initiatives.

Proposal

IORA is fully aware of the challenges that face developing and small island developing states in the Indian Ocean for the protection and preservation of their marine environment, including resilience to climate change impacts, and the critical importance of balancing   economic development and the  health of the ocean. Stakeholders in government, academic and businesses are already discussing a development framework that couples the ecosystem-based approach with marine spatial planning, an arrangement that balances development needs with the environmental health of the oceans. In addition, several initiatives are being adopted by IORA Member States to promote sustainable development of the Indian Ocean, including the Blue Economy Initiative, by introducing responsible and sustainable approaches to economic development. 

It is therefore proposed to hold a Marine Spatial Planning Conference to provide IORA Member States with an opportunity to learn more about how to achieve their respective targets under SDG 14 by using effective MSP methodology.

Host

Mauritius has adopted a Marine Spatial Plan for its EEZ  for the sustainable development of the Ocean Economy while recognising its multi-disciplinary nature and  is currently implementing an IORA project entitled "Developing an Enhanced Ocean observatory in support of Ocean Exploration and Development"  to facilitate the process of collecting, storing, organising and providing access to spatio-temporal data to support the marine spatial planning initiative.

It is proposed that the IORA Ocean Conference on"Marine Spatial Planning- Towards Sustainable Use of the Indian Ocean" be hosted by the Government of Mauritius on November 22-23,2017. 


Administrative Arrangement

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