Supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), AU-IBAR is holding a series of country-specific consultations to improve regulatory frameworks for protecting aquatic biodiversity and preserving aquatic ecosystems in selected African Union Member States. The activities are being implemented under the Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity in the African Blue Economy Project.
The first meeting took place on February 20-22, 2023, in Abuja, Nigeria. Various thematic discussions were held in group work as indicated in pictures below (Coastal Marine Tourism; Petroleum, Oil and Gas Group; and Mineral Groups). The Masterplan development process in Nigeria is followed with a series of consultations held at the following locations: Nairobi, Kenya (March 22-24, 2023) and Libreville, Gabon (March 29-31, 2023).
The meetings will all aim to develop national master plans for sustainable coastal and marine tourism, oil and gas exploration, and mining; raise public awareness of the negative effects of these industries on aquatic biodiversity, the environment, and the economy; discuss and develop regulatory and policy guidelines for sustainable mining and oil and gas exploration.
There are predicted outcomes for each country consultation: Create a long-term strategy for protecting aquatic habitats and promoting responsible tourism along the coast; Recommendations for the next steps in the establishment or enhancement of national regulatory frameworks (policies, rules) for sustainable coastal, marine tourist and mining operations with respect to aquatic biodiversity conservation and ecosystems.
Each country consultation will be hosted by the Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Blue Economy, with participation from other relevant Ministries/Departments/Agencies in the fields of Fisheries & Aquaculture, Blue Economy; Tourism, Mining; Environment, Security, Lands, Law, Private Sector, and Business Investors in the said sectors.
Main picture: Prof Adetola during meeting in Abuja