Islands of the Western Indian Ocean unite

11 February 2011 | Article

In October, 2010 during the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan, the Western Indian Ocean Partnership (WIOP) was launched. WIOP, under the Global Islands Partnership (GLISPA), aims to promote national and regional action to safeguard the resilience of the region’s ecosystems so that they can continue to help address climate change and provide security to its people.

Ambassador Ronald Jumeau of the Seychelles stated, “We refuse to be defined by the small size of our countries: we will be defined by our drive, ambition and determination and the Western Indian Ocean can lead the way.” The Ambassador added that “We, the Seychelles and islands of the Western Indian Ocean region, need to reach out beyond our borders, beyond our waters to ensure our safety and security.”

The islands of the Western Indian Ocean and coastal areas of Eastern Africa are home to 30 million people who rely on their coastal environment for food and income. But overfishing, overdevelopment, pollution, environmental degradation and climate change are seriously threatening the natural resources that fuel the region’s economic activity.

For further information, please contact Olivier Tyack, Programme Officer for Islands, IUCN Ecosystem Management Programme.