Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem
As of: February 2020
Objective and activities
The project aims to improve sustainable transboundary management of marine biodiversity and natural marine resources in the Benguela Current by further developing the corresponding capacity of the Benguela Current Commission (BCC) and its member states. To this end, ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) are being identified and described, and the project partners are being advised on the establishment of an appropriate management regime. In addition, the project is institutionalising and implementing a regionally coordinated approach to marine spatial planning (MSP). Results and experiences drawn from the project as well as the tested concepts and instruments for managing EBSAs and MSP will be further disseminated both in the region and beyond to ensure their integration into national, regional and international policy and negotiation processes.
State of implementation/results
- The project is lending significant support to the drafting of the South African strategy document for the implementation of marine spatial planning (MSP) that sets out the parameters and framework for the development of the four sub-national marine spatial plans.
- In Namibia, the project cooperates with the third phase of the regional GEF-financed UNDP project to support the Benguela Current Convention (BCC).
- Training workshops on marine spatial planning have been held in all three countries with substantial participation by all relevant sector ministries. As a result it was also possible to take initial steps towards convening a multi-sectoral, inter-ministerial national working group on marine spatial planning in Namibia.
- To generate synergies in the context of marine spatial planning, the project participated in planning workshops during the design phase of a new intervention proposed by the BCC member states and the UNDP for the implementation of a regional strategic action programme.
- The draft MRP protocol for the BCC, whose development were supported by the project, was finalised and adopted by the BCC Commission in October 2018.
- Project partners from Namibia and Angola participated in the MRP Forum of IOC-UNESCO and the European Commission on La Réunion at the end of March 2019, where project results were presented successfully to the expert public. – In July 2019 a study trip to Germany and Sweden was organised for members of the South African Working Group on Marine Spatial Planning.
- In Namibia a Blue Economy Policy was developed by an inter-ministerial committee and advised by the project.
- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the MRP Act at the end of April, creating the legal framework for MRP.
- In mid-August 2019, Angolan President João Lourenço issued a decree establishing a 16-strong body at ministerial level on maritime affairs.