10th – 15th October 2022
South Africa

Mini Symposia

Photo credit: WWF Madagascar

Photo credit: Lola Masse, IRD

The WIOMSA Mini-symposia are sessions that focus on presenting and discussing issues of regional importance for the purpose of developing syntheses on the current status of knowledge, furthering research and policy recommendations, and/or introducing novel perspectives and approaches.

Mini-symposia aim to establish connections with other research communities within and outside the region. This year’s sessions are aligned to the symposium theme of A New Decade of Ocean Science.

Read more about the each Mini-Symposium below

The contribution of marine science in areas beyond national jurisdiction in the Western Indian Ocean to the development of a regional ocean governance strategy

This mini symposium will highlight how advances in oceanographic research in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) can be used to inform aspects of a regional strategy for ocean governance, especially related to the conservation and management of biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions (BBNJ). It will provide information on a topic of regional importance, i.e. scientific information for Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJs) of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) riparian states, which is currently relatively limited and poorly distributed and shared.  The contribution of this information to a regional strategy aimed at enhancing ocean governance in the WIO will mainly be through ensuring that the importance of maintaining marine biological diversity in a healthy condition to provide the basis for a sustainable blue economy is highlighted and mainstreamed.

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Creating a future for Marine Spatial Planning in the Western Indian Ocean

This mini-symposium will present the Regional MSP Strategic Framework for the WIO (commissioned by the Nairobi Convention) and discuss innovations (such as systems approaches) that can provide spatial and temporal scenarios for MSP futures in the WIO. The symposium aims to: share the Regional MSP Strategic Framework for the WIO and seek feedback from participants on its recommendations; engage with participants on aspects of regional MSP that remain challenging, for example, geo-politics, ocean crime, dynamic ocean management, climate-smart MSP, the inclusion of cultural knowledge, etc.; and capture new knowledge for a peer-reviewed scientific publication (that will add to the existing regional Strategic Framework and Policy Brief already produced).

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Perspectives on Plastic Waste Generation and Management: Challenges and Possible Solutions for Sustainable Cities and Coasts in Africa – A Case Study of the Western Indian Ocean Region

This session aims to bring together academics, researchers, and students to discuss around the main challenges facing African countries in plastic waste management, highlighting the benefits brought by these materials to humanity as well as the associated negative impact on human health, the environment, and the economy. Several successful and failure stories and interventions that are currently being employed for plastic waste management worldwide will be shared at the Mini-symposium. Critical discussion of current advances in technologies for the production of plastic materials that are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than petroleum-based ones will also made.

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State of knowledge and future of Intertidal invertebrate bait exploitation and management in the Western Indian Ocean

The symposium is expected to create awareness on the impacts of bait fishery to the environment, highlight the need for research, policy and management of fishery for the conservation of the marine environment; especially the coastal environment. The session outputs shall be a document outlining research needs and a policy brief.

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Launch of the ‘WIO Symphony’ tool for regional cumulative impact assessment in the Western Indian Ocean – a transparent support for ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Planning

This mini-symposium launches ‘WIO Symphony’, the product of a 4-year cooperation with contributions from over 50 members from Nairobi Convention member states and international partners. WIO Symphony is a practical tool for environmental assessment in support of ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Planning (MSP).

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SMART and Sustainable Port Cities

Coastal Cities in the WIO are dealing with profound levels of urban coastal development, mega projects, and population growth. The economic benefits associated with development need to be weighed against the impact on coastal ecosystems, capacity for climate change adaptation and mitigation, waste management and socio-spatial impact. The mini-symposium presents a regional analysis on smart cities and the outcomes of port development on land-use land cover change in port-cities from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

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Coastal Observations for under-resourced countries

This session seeks to engage with scientists and technicians from under-resourced communities to discuss current research in the coastal environment along with the key issues needing to be addressed, challenges experienced and potential solutions in trying to overcome these challenges.

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