Inception workshop on UNDP’s Joint Management Area Demonstration Project

Date: April 01, 2019
Domain:Fisheries; International Relations 
Persona: Business; Citizen; Government; Non-Citizen


GIS – 1st April, 2019: An inception workshop on the United Nations Development Programme’s Joint Management Area (JMA) Demonstration Project opened this morning at Voilà Hotel, in Bagatelle. The objectives were to introduce participants to the UNDP-JMA Demonstration Project and enable their understanding of the setup of the JMA, review and define a logical framework, facilitate exchange of information, and encourage stakeholders to take ownership of the project.
Some 60 participants from both Mauritius and Seychelles including government policymakers, technocrats, members of the Joint Commission on the Extended Continental Shelf, the public and private sectors as well as regional experts from academia and Non-Governmental Organisations attended the workshop.  The event also aimed at enabling the Project Steering Committee to review any aspect of budget allocations.
The UN Permanent Representative for Mauritius and Co-Chair from Mauritius for JMA Project Steering Committee Mauritius, Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul, the Advisor on Blue Economy to the Vice-President of the Government of Seychelles, Mr Philippe Michaud, the National Project Director for JMA, Mr Rezah Badal and other personalities were present at the opening ceremony.
In his address, Ambassador Koonjul underlined that the overall objective of the JMA Demonstration Project is to identify and demonstrate new management approaches and techniques concerning databases management for the Mascarene Plateau. In this process, he said, new approaches bridging the gap between science and policy in the extended continental shelf will be elaborated for stakeholders from both Mauritius and Seychelles.
In July 2008, he recalled that owing to the overlapping claims of both Island States, Seychelles made an important historical resolve to delineate our extended continental shelf in the Mascarene Plateau Region jointly with the Republic of Mauritius. As a result, he pointed out, Mauritius and Seychelles have now joint jurisdiction over an additional area of 396,000 sq. kilometers which is matter of great pride.
Ambassador Koonjul emphasised that the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone between both Island States has led to the joint management of the continental shelf of the region.  According to him, the sharing substantial of the maritime territory between the two stands as an example at the level of the United Nations for countries having overlapping territories.
For his part, Mr Michaud, pointed out that the successful development of the Mascarene Plateau Region will bring along economic, social and environmental benefits for both Seychelles and Mauritius.  The ocean, he said, has immense potential for Small Island Developing States as well as coastal States which are willing to work in collaboration to harness the power of the blue economy. The JMA Demonstration project thus requires the various stakeholders to bring in their full contribution in order to better access, manage and promote sustainable development of the marine resources, he added.
Mr Badal highlighted that the joint jurisdiction of the continental shelf has been a landmark achievement for Mauritius and Seychelles adding that this has paved the way for both countries to cooperate and look over the new frontiers. With regard to the JMA Demonstration project, he underlined that it will be implemented over a period of four years from 2018 to 2021 whereby involved parties will consolidate existing databases and elaborate new functioning mechanisms to monitor and manage the continental shelf.