Peaceful management of world largest underwater area

The Mascarene Plateau consists of the Seychelles Plateau, the Ritchie Bank, the Saya de Malha Bank, the Nazareth Bank and the Cargados Carajos (St Brandon) shoals to the south up to Mauritius. The Mascarene Plateau represents a valuable large ecosystem from which economic, environmental and social benefits can be derived. It is in itself a unique area in terms of the geology and physical characteristics.

In September 2007, UNDP began implementation of the GEF-funded Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems Project. The objective of this Project was to undertake an environmental baseline assessment of the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems, to fill information gaps needed to improve management decision-making and to ascertain the role of external forcing functions. The Project was designed to address the Agulhas and the Somali Current LMEs under one initial assessment process as well as the assessment of the Mascarene Plateau. It identified potential data/information gaps in the region and amplified the needs for further studies and research in the area. The UNDP-Joint Management Area (JMA) Demonstration Project shall aim at consolidating existing databases and elaborate further on the framework for data and information management.

The JMA Demonstration Project aims at achieving its objectives through the delivery of four components.
1. Building Technical and Management Capacity in support of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and effective management of the Joint Management Area.
2. Development of a data and information system along with a Programme of data capture and gap-filling as a foundation for an adaptive management strategy.
3. Adoption and implementation of a Marine Spatial Planning approach with the objective of improving and implementing effective decision-making for activities within the Joint Management Area.
4. Monitoring, Evaluation, Adaptive Feedback and Sustainability using UNDP and GEF tracking tool for both annual progress and terminal evaluation under the SAPPHIRE Project modality.

For more information, download the project factsheet.