The UNDP supports a series of workshops under the Joint Management Area Demonstration Project
January 24, 2023
Two workshops under the UNDP-SAPPHIRE Joint Management Area (JMA) Demonstration Project were organised by the Governments of Mauritius and Seychelles with the support of the UNDP Multi-Country Office, from Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January. The first workshop was aimed at delivering basic training on the use of Marxan, a software designed to solve conservation planning problems. The second one was organised to ensure the adoption of the finalised Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Zoning Framework and the preparation of an initial Zoning Map for the JMA.
The Joint Management Area (JMA) represents an area of the seabed in the Mascarene Plateau region of about 396 000 km², of which Seychelles and Mauritius share joint jurisdiction. Through the SAPPHIRE Joint Management Area demonstration project, the United Nations Development Programme is supporting the Governments of Mauritius and Seychelles to develop a marine spatial planning process in view of an agreed management strategy. Through MSP, informed and coordinated decisions can be taken to ensure the sustainable use of marine resources and a more rational organization of the use of marine space by all users of the ocean, including industry, government, conservation and recreation.
Finding solutions to complex conservation problems
The workshop organised from 16-18th January was to provide essential information on the use of Marxan with Zones, a software commonly used in conservation planning, that can help to improve decision-making processes in the development of the spatial planning zone for the JMA. The workshop, delivered by Madeline Davey, consultant from the University of Queensland, Australia, was attended by participants from the Department for Continental Shelf, Maritime Zones Administration & Exploration in Mauritius, and from the Seychelles’ Departments of Blue Economy and Department of Climate Change, the Ministry of Land and Habitat, PetroSeychelles, Seychelles Port Authority and the Seychelles Fishing Authority.
Finalising the Zoning Framework for the Joint Management Area
The second workshop, organized on 19th and 20th January, was attended by both chairs of the Joint Commission of the JMA, Ambassador J. Koonjul, Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the United Nations and Ambassador Kenneth Racombo. Around 25 other participants from various institutions in Mauritius and Seychelles were also present including the participants from the just concluded Marxan Training. The aim was to revise and adopt the final Zoning Framework and prepare an initial draft Zoning Map for the Joint Management Area based on the agreed Zoning Framework. The outcomes of this workshop will inform the development of the final Spatial Management Plan, scheduled to be completed in March 2023. Delivered by Dr. Julian Roberts, MSP Consultant for the project, the workshop included several working sessions and presentations of key findings from recent research on biodiversity.