International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Engaging the private sector in protecting the Western Indian Ocean with a new approach

Private sector enterprises are some of the main users of the ocean. From local tourist operators and fishers selling their products on the side of the road all the way to multinational oil, mining, shipping, large tourism and transport companies, these actors rely heavily on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods and profits. And yet they are rarely involved in efforts to promote and protect these same ocean assets.This is despite the fact that there are many ways that the private sector can contribute to ocean protection. For instance, transportation companies, from local boats ferrying tourists to diving locations all the way to cruise liners, could use greener technologies, fuel, or practices. Seaside hotels could adopt sustainable business practices, like banning plastic products or chemical products that often wind up in the ocean or by implementing water treatment processes. Shipping and transportation companies can reduce the amount of solid waste they generate by adopting stringent recycling programs and eliminating the use of disposable items.Mainstreaming these and other sustainable practices into private sector operations can have a huge impact on the health of our oceans. Less trash in the ocean from shipping could lead to fewer animals dying from entanglement or accidental digestion of the waste. Hotels that use fewer harmful chemicals will contribute less toxicity to the water, leading to healthier marine life and the critical habitats so important to our job and food security. Meanwhile, incorporating simple practices on a boat, like fueling only at the marina or regularly inspecting vessels for toxic substance leaks, would mean less harmful chemicals that can poison beaches, mangroves, and coral reef composition, upon which many marine biodiversity depends.

5513: Western Indian Ocean LMEs Strategic Action Programme Policy Harmonization and Institutional Reforms SAPPHIRE Project

26 okt. 2020