IKI project in southern Africa gains momentum

People on a boat, in front whale tail fin rising from under water

The nutritious waters of the Benguela Current attract plenty of whales every year; picture: NACOMA

South Africa’s President praises solid cooperation with Germany and highlights an IKI project in parliament.

The Benguela Current is a cold ocean current off the south-western coast of the African continent that is known for its extraordinary biological diversity. Fishing is an essential source of income for the inhabitants of the bordering countries of Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

In 2007, the coastal states of Angola, South Africa and Namibia launched an initiative on the transboundary management of the region - the Benguela Current Commission (BCC). In 2013, the member states signed a joint convention - the first of its kind for a marine ecoregion in Africa. .
The project "Conservation and sustainable use of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem", which is promoted by the International Climate Initiative (IKI), has been supporting the BCC and its member states since 2014 in the implementation of the Benguela Current Convention.

Environmentally sound development planning of the ocean space of the three countries is being supported through the introduction of a spatial management strategy that takes into account the natural resources in the ecoregion. In addition to the implementation and institutionalisation of marine spatial planning, the project supports the BCC member states in identifying and conserving the region's ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs). The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is responsible for implementation in cooperation with the partners.

By explicitly mentioning and paying tribute to the cooperation with Germany under the project, the South African President Jacob Zuma in his speech before Parliament on 11 March underlined the great significance and political value of marine spatial planning in South Africa and thus in the Benguela Current. This political support for the marine spatial planning process is a key precondition for implementing the national and regional strategies of the project partner countries and thus the objectives of the IKI project. The project has a volume of EUR 8.9 million and runs until April 2020.