Article | 29 Juin, 2023

Support for the Great Blue Wall through the Moroni Declaration for Ocean and Climate Action in Africa

The Moroni Declaration for Ocean and Climate Action in Africa was recently signed by the Ministers and High-Level Representatives of several African countries during the Blue Future Ministerial Conference held in Moroni, Union of Comoros from June 12 – 14, 2023. The Government of Comoros, in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly organised the Conference which culminated in the Declaration as a key output.

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Photo: AU/UNECA

The Moroni Declaration for Ocean and Climate Action in Africa was recently signed by the Ministers and High-Level Representatives of several African countries during the Blue Future Ministerial Conference held in Moroni, Union of Comoros from June 12 – 14, 2023. The Government of Comoros, in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly organised the Conference which culminated in the Declaration as a key output.

The Moroni Declaration highlights the importance of ocean conservation, climate action, and the sustainable development of coastal communities in Africa. It specifically focuses on the unique challenges faced by African Island States and expresses support for the Great Blue Wall, an IUCN initiative, a Western Indian Ocean (WIO)-born, Africa-driven roadmap to achieve a nature-positive world by 2030. It aims to unlock unprecedented nature-based recovery efforts through the establishment of a transformational movement. Its goal is to dramatically accelerate and upscale ocean conservation actions while enhancing socio-ecological resilience and the development of a regenerative blue economy by catalysing political leadership and financial support as witnessed through the Moroni Declaration.

“On behalf of IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, I want to thank H.E President Azali and the leadership of the Union of Comoros for successfully hosting this important Regional Ministerial Conference on the blue economy and climate action in Africa with Islands and Coastal States at the forefront,” said Luther Anukur Bois, IUCN Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “As an organisation, IUCN exists to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.”

The declaration acknowledges that African Island States are on the frontlines of the impact of biodiversity loss, climate change, and coastal zone degradation. These interconnected challenges require ongoing political advocacy and coordinated action. It also recognises the importance of safeguarding marine and coastal ecosystems such as coastal forests, mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs, which provide essential ecosystem services, contribute to climate resilience, and support the economic growth and livelihoods of African Island and Coastal States. The declaration stresses the need to leverage the advantages of blue economy development for sustainable production, value addition, investments, and trade within Africa and globally.

The declaration encourages the establishment of a connected network of regenerative and inclusive coastal seascapes as part of the Great Blue Wall initiative. It also calls for increased public and private investment in sustainable coastal and marine value chains, responsible fisheries, green infrastructure, ecotourism, renewable energies, and blue innovation. The declaration concludes by affirming the commitment to the "Moroni Process for Ocean and Climate Action in Africa and African Island States specificities" and the promotion of blue economy at the continental and regional levels. It also emphasises the acceleration of the Great Blue Wall initiative to drive nature-based blue recovery efforts and foster a regenerative blue economy in Africa.