08.04.2019 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

Fifth session of UNESCO/IOC’s Sub Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA-V)

Participants at UNON@UNESCO

The fifth session of UNESCO/IOC’s Sub Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA-V) was held at the United Nations Offices in Nairobi from 25-27 March 2019 and attended by more than 50 delegates representing Member states from Africa and the Adjacent Island states and other regional and international organizations.

The session which was officially opened by Prof Micheni Ntiba, who is the Principal Secretary in Kenya’s State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Blue Economy was also addressed by the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO Mr Vladimir Ryabinin, who is also an Assistant-Director General of UNESCO.

In his opening remarks, Prof Ntiba noted that the provides an opportunity to reflect on how Africa and the Adjacent Island states can harness ocean science and research to optimally utilize their substantial blue economy potential, which is the new frontier for development. He informed the delegates that Kenya recognizes the importance of international collaboration in ocean research, as there are many issues that are transboundary in nature. Because of this, Kenya has worked closely with the IOCAFRICA Sub Commission, conducting several activities geared towards improving the understanding of the ocean and coastal processes and how they affect the environment and resources.

Prof Ntiba highlighted the need to focus on the development of capacities for marine science and technology and an African Ocean Observing System contributing to human and economic security.

He concluded by emphasizing the importance of strengthening the Sub Commission to enable it achieve the objectives for which it was established.

The session reviewed the implementation status of the IOCAFRICA-IV work plan which was adopted at the fourth session held from 6-8 March 2017 in Alexandria, Egypt, and prepared a detailed draft of IOCAFRICA work plan 2019-2021 taking into account relevant regional and international frameworks. The session also discussed the organization of a Pan Africa Conference on Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development in Egypt in October 2020 which will bring together scientists and researchers, government representatives and industry representatives to take stock of progress made in ocean sciences in the region and how these can be further developed to ensure societal benefits. The conference will also serve as a platform for the regional launch of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

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