By Era Environnement
COP 28: The Great Blue Wall initiative at the forefront in Comoros- Climate Action
From 12 to 14 June, Moroni, the capital of the Union of the Comoros will host a three- day ministerial conference on the Great Blue Wall initiative, an initiative to unlock the potential of the blue economy and address the effects and the solutions of climate change in the Western Indian Ocean region. Organised by the Government of Comoros in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the conference aims to promote sustainable development and resilience in the African maritime sector.
Seven African island states and five coastal countries of the Western Indian Ocean will attend this high level event: Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania and the Union of the Comoros. Since February 2023, the president of the Union of Comoros, Azali Assoumani, is the chairperson of the African Union. Comoros is the first island state to take this role since the creation of the African Union.
A technical meeting of experts will take place to discuss a proposed concrete and action-oriented work programme and investment plan to guide fundraising efforts and accelerate the implementation of the Great Blue Wall initiative in a way that addresses the needs and priorities identified by the stakeholder countries. A high-level segment on the blue economy and the specificities of African island states with political leaders of the seven African island and coastal states will follow on 14 June 2023. The leaders are expected to discuss the results of the expert group meeting on the Great Blue Wall initiative and to agree on a Moroni Declaration that will underscore the leadership of African island states on African ocean action for climate and blue economy development. According to the organisers, the leaders will also confirm their political support for the Great Blue Wall initiative and its operational roadmap.
As a reminder, the practical guide to the blue economy published in 2016 by the Economic Commission for Africa explains that the blue economy concerns both the marine environment and freshwater. It includes oceans and seas, shorelines and banks, lakes, streams and groundwater. It embraces a range of activities, direct or derived, from fishing to harvesting marine mining, aquaculture, tourism, transportation, and shipbuilding, energy or bioprospecting.