We are pleased to announce the release of the first volume of the Western Indian Ocean Science to policy series “Transitioning to a Sustainable Blue Economy in the WIO Region: Addressing the challenges and harnessing opportunities”.
Volume 1, Issue 1 of the WIO Policy series, officially launched during the 12th WIOMSA Scientific Symposium in South Africa, has been produced by the Nairobi Convention and WIOMSA. The series responds to a number of Nairobi Convention’s Conference of Parties (COP) decisions to strengthen the linkages between science and policy for evidence- based decision making to conserve coastal and marine resources in the WIO-region. At COP 8, a decision that approved the establishment of a dialogue platform which could strengthen the links between science, policy, and action (CP8/12) was passed. Thereafter, the Science- Policy Platform structure and procedures were developed and approved leading to its first meeting held on 23-25 March 2022 where 33 policy discussion papers were presented; 29 of which are included in this first issue.
Issue 1 features articles that reflect the ongoing initiatives in the region to bring science and policy together and the ongoing discussions on how WIO scientists can contribute to blue growth in the region over the long term. The papers in this issue acknowledge the challenges to achieving sustainable marine environments in the region and the policy and implementation gaps. Conversely, they also describe successful policy interventions and highlight emerging issues of relevance to the WIO region. The issue points out gaps in awareness and understanding of emerging issues that may require policy-relevant research. The publication brings together contributors for academia, government and the private sector to harness scientific knowledge for blue economy transformation in the WIO region.