In October 2010, the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), with financial support from the Swedsh International Devleopment Cooperation Agency (SIDA), contracted with International Resources Group (IRG) in Washington, DC to prepare a draft regional strategy for addressing coastal and marine climate change impacts in the WIO Region.
The objective of the Regional Strategy is to provide countries of the WIO region with strategically relevant and accurate information that will enhance their capacity to plan and implement both adaptation and mitigation response measures required to reduce the detrimental impacts of climate change on communities and ecosystems. The regional strategy is not intended to specify detailed actions, similar to those elaborated in the Strategic Action Programme for the Nairobi Convention, completed in 2009. Rather the strategy presents priorities for regional action to strengthen coastal and marine resilience to climate change.
WIOMSA convened a workshop to discuss the draft Regional Strategy for addressing climate change impacts in the WIO Region on February 25-26, 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 20 experts from WIO countries, UNEP, and NGOs provided comments on the draft strategy and made presentations on their adaptation planning and research activities. One of the conclusions of the workshop was the need to coordinate the parallel efforts of the Regional Coastal and Marine Strategy with the Indian Ocean Commission-funded ACClimate Project, designed to develop a draft framework for a regional adaptation strategy for the five WIO island nations. The latter framework focuses on 12 sectors and is modeled on the regional strategies previously developed for Pacific and Caribbean islands.
The current document – Summary for Policymakers – is the first chapter of the Regional Strategy and is provided in advance to participants of the Mauritius Confernece on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitogation in the WIO Region: Solutions to the Crisis to facilitate discussions with WIO stakeholders. The Summary provides an overview of the findings and recommendations of the draft strategy covering the context for the strategy, coastal and marine impacts in the WIO region, climate adaptation and resilience, options for integrating adaptation into development strategies and plans, financing for climate change, and priorities for increasing coastal and marine climate resilience.