At the Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Convention for the protection, management and development of marine and coastal environment of the Western Indian Ocean Region (the Nairobi Convention) held in Antananarivo, Madagascar in July 2004, the Secretariat of the convention (UNEP) was directed to facilitate the establishment of a network of academic and research institutions in the convention area in collaboration with other organizations. The network would be a “consultative, communication and advisory body accountable to contracting parties of the Nairobi Convention in assessment and science-based management of marine and coastal environment”.
The decision was to address the challenges of absence of a mechanism for linking research and academic institutions with decision-making processes at the regional level; the inadequate visibility of research institutions in the region; the inadequate sharing and exchange of information amongst academic and research institutions in the region, and the inadequate involvement of regional institutions in regional initiatives.
The Secretariat was also directed to “take the offer made by the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) to serve as the Secretariat of such a network”.
The main objectives of establishing FARI are:
The roles and responsibility of FARI shall be as follows: