International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Africa Connects: 1st Annual Africa Regional Network Meeting

02-04 Aug 2017, Zanzibar
The 1st Annual Africa Regional Network Meeting will take place at the Zanzibar Ocean View Resort, Zanzibar, Tanzania. The meeting will be hosted by  the Institute of Marine Science, University of Dar es Salaam.

The Strengthening Global Governance of Large Marine Ecosystems and Their Coasts through Enhanced Sharing and Application of LME/ICM/MPA Knowledge and Information Tools: LME:LEARN project seeks to improve global ecosystem-based governance of Large Marine Ecosystems and their coasts by generating knowledge, building capacity, harnessing public and private partners and supporting south-to-south learning and north-to-south learning. This project is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and executed by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC). A key element of this improved governance is main-streaming cooperation and coordination between LME, MPA, and ICM projects with overlapping themes and geographic areas, both for GEF projects and for non-GEF projects.

This meeting is part of a series of regional meetings being organized by LME:LEARN and IOC-UNESCO Sub-Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA). The meetings have an expected outcome to enhance the development of partnerships in the Region’s Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) by engaging marine protected area, coastal management, biodiversity and coastal climate change adaptation project managers & stakeholders with ongoing activities in the overlapping LMEs.

The primary objectives of the first Annual Africa Regional Network Meeting are to provide a forum for GEF funded project leaders, non-funded GEF projects, agencies, academia and institutes to network with one another; to enhance their understanding of activities in the region; and to identify partnership building opportunities by engaging projects actively involved in key thematic areas (marine and coastal management, biodiversity and coastal climate change).

More specifically, the meeting aims to:

♦ Establish the African Regional Network consisting of project leaders and institutes engaged in marine and coastal ecosystem based management by providing a forum for those involved in LME, ICM, MPA, MSP, and similar themes to establish connections with one another and enhance collaboration opportunities;

♦ Introduce the twinning opportunities and discuss how twinning can or should progress with identified partners;

♦ Introduce the Inter-project Collaboration Opportunities (ICO) to the network;

♦ Provide an overview of the contents of the 7 toolkits (Governance, LME Assessment, LME Project; Stakeholder Participation, LME Strategic Approach, Marine Spatial Planning and Environmental Economics) under development and which should be converted into training modules based on the feedback of the network, as well as provide an overview of the Massive Open Online Course being developed;

♦ Introduce the Large Marine Ecosystem Approach for achieving SDG 14, discuss what projects in the region are doing to implement these targets, and the role of the Network.

For further information, please contact Dr. Natalie Degger ( 

Meeting documentation, pictures and presentations will be uploaded in due course.

Look out for live updates of the meeting on our social media pages Facebook and Twitter and join our online discussion using the #AfricaConnects hashtag!