News and Updates

Policy and Legal Frameworks for Ocean Governance

There is growing global recognition of the importance of oceans and their resources to sustainable development and of specific related issues, such as climate change, sea-level rise and food from the sea. Despite of this, there is no single policy instrument covers all ocean issues in the region. Instead, we have multiple national, regional and global framework and policy documents, as well as legislation covering ocean related issues. 

Further, integrating science into ocean policy instruments and management practices is vital. For science to effectively inform policy, it is imperative to have strong legal structures, political will, funding, leadership, and public engagement are all necessary for science to be used successfully.

IOCAFRICA provides a platform to coordinate implementation and formulation of key regional policy instruments among member states in the region, while catalyzing integration of science in these instruments. This is achieved through the IOCAFRICA mission on promotion of regional and international cooperation for the management of African oceans and surrounding coastal ecosystems.

Marine Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management

During the past 20 years, the development of marine spatial planning (MSP) and ocean zoning has globally become a crucial step in making ecosystem-based, sea use management a reality. The MSP process promotes the more sustainable use of marine resources and the better arrangement and management of maritime activities, both existing and new.

The UNESCO/IOCAFRICA MSP programme helps member states implement ecosystem-based management by finding space for biodiversity, conservation and sustainable economic development in marine areas.