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MSP strategy - WIO
Regional Marine Spatial Planning Strategy for the Western Indian Ocean Region

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Project time period : 2020-2021 (Completed)

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The sustainable use of the ocean and its biodiversity depends on appropriate planning and management of various human activities and uses. Hence, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) processes can provide useful frameworks to assist planning and management of different activities in coastal and marine areas.


The countries of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region have developed and adopted MSP approaches for different purposes and therefore the level of implementation also varies. Despite these differences, the regional context provides an opportunity for joint learning, improved cooperation, and capacity building to support implementation of MSP across the WIO region more consistently. Although spatial planning is often undertaken by governmental authorities for their individual territories, it has been increasingly recognised that planning should consider transboundary processes and activities.


Hence, it is recommended that planning authorities within neighbouring countries should find synergies and commonalities to address initiatives with cross-border implications. Transboundary MSP in marine environments will ensure ecosystem based management of habitats, species and human activities and their connections which in turn can reduce conflicts across neighbouring countries, make best use of shared or adjoining resources and encourage collaborative governance of shared seas.


The United Nations Environment Programme (Nairobi Convention Secretariat) has commissioned the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (CMR) at the Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha, South Africa to develop a regional Marine Spatial Planning Strategy for the WIO region. The plan aims to harmonize and align MSP practices at a national and regional level for sustainable management of the Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) through the implementation of the WIO LME Strategic Action Programmes (SAPs).

The Western Indian Ocean region includes the following countries:

South Africa










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Nelson Mandela University/ CMR

Prof Amanda Lombard (Co-PI)

Dr Bernadette Snow (Co-PI)

Dr Kaylee Smit (Project co-ordinator)

WIOMSA/MacQuarie University

Dr Vera Horigue

Zanri Schoeman

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Timeline & deliverables

WIO-MSP Strategy & Stakeholder invitation (EN)

WIO-MSP Strategy & Stakeholder invitation (FR)

Bulelwa Same

Our Partners

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