IUCN marine experts and those from partner organizations converged in Zanzibar from 5 to 9 March, 2012 to develop the IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme (GMPP) for 2013 – 2016 and a new Coastal and Marine Programme for IUCN in the Eastern and Southern African Region (ESARO).
The Minister of Industries and Trade of the Government of Zanzibar, Nassor Mazrui, officially opened the meeting and appreciated that IUCN decided to convene its global coastal and marine programme meeting in Zanzibar. He noted that the meeting is opening an opportunity for long-term relationship between IUCN and Government of Zanzibar, especially in coastal and marine resources management.
Among the participants in the meeting was the IUCN Deputy Direct General, Poul Engberg, who advised that the Global Marine and Polar Programme should align to the IUCN business model and use the business lines to guide priority setting and resource mobilization for the coastal and marine programs.
Also speaking during the meeting, Ali Kaka, the IUCN Regional Director for ESARO informed participants that “the meeting will help initiate the process of rebuilding the IUCN coastal program for Eastern and Southern Africa, through a number of innovative partnerships especially ones linking livelihoods, food security and biodiversity in coastal and marine areas.”
The meeting was title 'The Global Coastal Challenge.' “The coastal challenge is one that IUCN is ready to take on. We will fight on the beaches, in the coasts and to the sea for a healthy environment,” said Carl Gustaf Lundin, Head of IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme.
The IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme has grown and evolved significantly since its establishment in the early 2000. It has however been recognized that in spite of all the successes, the programme needs to be strengthened; and to redefine its niche, mission, objectives, and activities while expanding its business partners. The meeting outputs will lead to the definition of a new program and the development of a strategy for discussion and adoption at the IUCN Congress in September 2012.
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