The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) are collaborating with the Southern Africa and Islands Hydrographic Commission, in order to give a boost to the region’s ocean economy, by establishing new regulations and legislation.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the global ocean economy, which involves activities ranging from shipping and fishing to renewables, is expected to reach $3 trillion dollars in 2030.
Through this collaboration, countries that line Southern Africa’s coastline will be supported.
Madagascar, which is situated on the Indian Ocean trade route that links Australia, Asia and the Middle East, ports and shipping lanes will experience an exponential increase in shipping traffic.
Moreover, the new legislation and regulations will include sharing information, tides, navigational warnings and observations, which will play a vital role in helping these countries advance their economy in a sustainable way.
In fact, effective marine spatial planning will allow governments and commercial partners to enhance the economic potetial, protect the ocean species and contribute to global conservation.
At the same time, the advanced navigational safety will give mariners the exact information they are required, reducing groundings that could harm the marine environment.
Sharing major information will be also important, so as to avoid piracy threats or illegal fishing in the region.
In light of the situation, during a 5-day seminar, the UK Hydrographic Office and Foreign & Commonwealth Office, partners across Southern Africa and government experts in maritime safety, seabed mapping and ocean science focused on the Hydrographic Services and the development of a Hydrographic Governance Implementation Plan.
This seminar was a fantastic opportunity to work with partners from UK government and around Southern Africa to help build sustainable and resilient marine economies for the future. The oceans are vital for providing these states with resources, security and livelihoods, so it’s vital that we not only help them understand and monitor these areas, but also learn how to protect them through the development of strong governance and appropriate legislation.
…Ian Davies, International Hydrographic Programmes Manager concluded.