13.12.2011 - Natural Sciences Sector

Improved coordination and collaboration with the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem project

© UNESCO/ P. Chiang-Joo David Vousden, Regional Director of the ASCLME project, and Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary of UNESCO-IOC

On Monday, 12 December 2011, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission signed an Aide Memoire with UNDP/GEF's Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem (ASCLME) project. The purpose of the agreement is to coordinate the efforts of the two parties in areas of common interest, namely ocean observing systems, data and information sharing and dissemination, GIS development, capacity building and oceanographic research.

Many of these have been achieved through partnerships with the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) –particularly in the Indian Ocean, the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), the Ocean Data and Information Network (ODINAFRICA), and the Joint WMO/IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology(JCOMM). The geographic area where the two parties share a common interest is Africa and the western Indian Ocean. The agreement therefore makes a special mention of the newly-created IOC sub-commission for Africa and adjacent Island States.

It is estimated that 55 million people living in the countries that border the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems depend on marine and coastal resources for food, work and security.

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