President of German Parliament visits IKI project in Southern Africa

Two men holding a small glas cube

Dr Lammert, President of the German Federal Parliament, hands a token of appreciation to Dr Hamukuaya, Executive Secretary of the BCC. Photo: GIZ

The Benguela Current is a cold ocean current of the south-western African coast that is known for its extraordinary productivity and unique biological diversity. In 2007, the coastal states of Angola, Namibia and South Africa launched an initiative on 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.

Since 2014 the project "Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem", which is financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMUB), is supporting the BCC and its member states in implementing the Benguela Current Convention.

Environmentally sound and integrated development planning of the ocean space of the three countries is being supported through the introduction of spatial planning that takes into account the marine biodiversity and natural resource values of the ecoregion. As part of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), the project supports the BCC member states in identifying and managing the region’s Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs). The project has started supporting the inter-ministerial and multi-sectoral working groups on MSP in Namibia and South Africa through national training workshops and is currently in the process of advising the countries in taking the first steps to introduce MSP at national levels. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is responsible for the implementation in cooperation with the BCC Secretariat and the relevant ocean-related ministries of the three BCC member states.

Dr Lammert met with the Namibian Ports Authority and visited the Walvis Bay harbor which is set to grow into a transport and logistics hub for Southern Africa. He also traveled to the Walvis Bay lagoon, met with the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the BCC, Dr Hashali Hamukuaya, and visited the National Marine Information and Research Centre’s Aquarium in Swakopmund.

This political support for the marine spatial planning process is a key precondition for achieving the national and regional objectives of the project’s partner countries. The project has a volume of EUR 9 million and runs until April 2020.