Great Blue Wall – Technical Segment

Special side event at the UN Oceans Conference (#IBZT28012)

Scaling locally-led marine conservation in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region for enhanced benefits to nature and people

When and where?
Tuesday, 28 June 2022, 1430 – 1545 HRS

Committee Room, Altice Arena


The Great Blue Wall is a Western Indian Ocean (WIO)-led, African driven initiative to achieve a nature positive world by 2030. It aims at unlocking unprecedented nature-based recovery efforts through the establishment of a transformational movement. Its goal is to dramatically accelerate and upscale ocean conservation actions while enhancing socio-ecological resilience and the development of a regenerative blue economy by catalysing political leadership and financial support.

Aligned with its goal to accelerate and upscale ocean conservation action, this event will present the ambition of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region to expand ocean conservation through locally-managed marine areas (LMMAs), Seascapes and Transfrontier Marine Conservation Areas (TFCAs) for improved ocean health and socio resilience of coastal communities. The ambition is anchored under national commitments across multiple targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Global Biodiversity Framework (Targets 3, 5, 9, 10) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 14.2, 14.5). Marine conservation in the WIO is currently largely led by government-led marine protection efforts covering some 555,000 km2 of ocean area spread across nine countries of the WIO, equivalent to seven percent coverage of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) area.

By contrast, the contribution of locally-led conservation, through marine other effective area-based conservation measures’ (OECMs), comprising LMMAs, Seascapes and TFCAs is unclear due to different legal and support regimes among countries. Application or adaptation of global frameworks such as OECMs has not been initiated, and countries show varied progress in supporting locally-led conservation.

In the side event, various speakers will summarize the current context and potential for upscaling locally-led marine conservation and sustainable small scale fisheries through ‘shared ocean’ approaches (Obura et al. 2021, Locke et al. 2020) and leveraging emerging campaigns around nature positive (Locke et al. 2021) and people-centered approaches for conservation in the 21st century. Second, a panel of practitioners from WIO countries will highlight and discuss key building blocks for successful locally-led marine conservation, and how these may support upscaling from local to national and regional scales. Moderated and audience questions to the panel and speakers will serve to connect among the issues presented, and culminate with a high level synthesis/wrap up that will strengthen the regional strategy to expand locally-led conservation efforts to complement government efforts by 2030.

Envisaged outcome

The event aims to generate a high level synthesis that will inform and strengthen a regional strategy to expand locally-led conservation and restoration efforts to complement government efforts by 2030.


ModeratorNassim Oulmane, Chief, Green and Blue Economy Section, UN Economic Commission for Africa

Opening/introduction (5 mins)

Peter Manyara, Regional Program Manager, Coastal and Ocean Resilience, IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa

Keynote presentations – Science and society (15 mins)

Nature positive and people-centered approaches for ocean conservation, David Obura, CORDIO

The WIO MPA Outlook Report: From recommendations to action, Arthur Tuda, WIOMSA

Panel discussion – building blocks for success (35 mins)

Creating an enabling policy framework for recognition of locally-managed marine areas, Miguel Gonçalves, ANAC, Mozambique

Application of locally-relevant conservation area governance frameworks for improved biodiversity and ecosystem services, Corinne Julie, Nature Seychelles

Advancing collaborative fisheries management and community conservation areas in Tanzania, Emmanuel Bulayi, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries,

United Republic of Tanzania

Madagascar’s roadmap and strategy to expanding locally-managed marine areas of conservation, Koko Chantal de Cupertino, Regional Director of Fisheries

and Blue Economy, Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Madagascar

Scaling ocean protected and conserved area: lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, Maximiliano Bello, Mission Blue

Addressing barriers to inclusive and sustainable economic development of coastal communities, Samantha Petersen, WWF SWIO Seascape Leader

International financing Instruments in catalysing ocean conservation impact, Eric Schoumsky, Societe Generale

Open discussion/Q&A (15 mins)

Synthesis/closure (5 mins)

Convened by:

o United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

o International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

o Coastal Oceans Research and Development (CORDIO) East Africa

o Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA)