Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

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About FARI

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:

  1. To communicate, collaborate and co-operate in support of marine and coastal research that contributes towards the wise use of marine and coastal resources and the provision of sustainable opportunities for people of the Western Indian Ocean region, in a healthy environment, and
  2. To provide advice to the Nairobi Convention and its Contracting Parties, in the assessment, monitoring and science-based management of marine and coastal environment of the Western Indian Ocean region.

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibility of FARI shall be as follows:

  1. Provide a peer review of documents produced from the Work Programme of the Nairobi Convention.
  2. Identify relevant and emerging fields of research that require remedial or policy action.
  3. Highlight urgent or emerging issues arising from science that require management action.
  4. Promote the application of new technologies and innovative research approaches.
  5. Provide expert technical support in the peer review of development projects, management decisions and policies.
  6. Facilitate the sharing and exchange of data and information between partners and stakeholders.
  7. Stimulate high quality science by facilitating the undertaking of co-operative national, regional and international scientific research programmes.
  8. Contribute to the capacity and career development, inter alia, through benchmarking and facilitating training opportunities, including for young scientists.
  9. Contribute to the policy and practice of ethics in research in marine science, by acting as honest brokers and through science advocacy.
  10. Advocate for good practice in the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and showcasing where research has been successfully commercialised as a result of effective management of IPR.
  11. Provide support to the preparation of the Nairobi Convention’s Work Programme and also reviewing, debating and assessing the activities undertaken by, or under, the auspices of the Nairobi Convention.