WIOMSA’s activities fall within five broad programmatic areas:
- Capacity Development. WIOMSA takes a broader perspective on capacity development as a process by which individuals and organizations improve their abilities to perform their core functions. The overall goal of the Association’s capacity development programme is to develop technical and managerial capacity as well as professionalism, and build the capability of scientists and practitioners to meet the existing and future challenges of coastal and marine management in the WIO region and beyond.
- Scientific Research. WIOMSA uses two competitive grant programmes, MASMA and the MARG as mechanisms to address priority issues, improving research quality and developing research capacity in all relevant disciplines. MASMA is designed to support regional research activities as well as organisation of training courses/workshop and publication of books/manuals.
- Information dissemination and Communication. Information dissemination and communication are core activities of WIOMSA and are integrated into all objectives of the Association. WIOMSA’s approaches to information dissemination and communication include publication of books/manuals, policy briefs, regional Journal/peer-reviewed papers, newsletters, magazines, flyers and brochures and production of CD-ROMS, DVDs, and TV programmes designed to serve the needs of a wide range of audiences. The WIOMSA website and blog provide up to date news and announcements, while events such as the biennial WIOMSA Scientific Symposium serve as major hubs for exchange and dissemination of information.
- Partnerships/Networking. WIOMSA promotes partnerships/networks through a number of approaches such as linking multiple scientific domains (e.g. connecting social and natural sciences through the competitive grant programme); institutional partnerships beyond the academic sphere (e.g. through WIO-C, a network of implementing agencies active in marine conservation); and linkages across geographic boundaries (e.g. WIO-COMPAS Programme with the Coastal Resource Center of the University of Rhode Island) and Memoranda of Understanding with different organizations.
- Resource Mobilization. Resource mobilization is one of the main priorities of the Association. Currently, the focus of this programmatic area is identify and pursue funding options to contribute to the core running costs of the Association and capitalization of the WIOMSA Trust, which was established in 2012.