October 24, 2021 (ARTA, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has started the validation process for the national Blue Economy baseline reports of the IGAD Member States with its first workshop in this regard in Arta town of Djibouti.

Representatives from various ministries of the Republic of Djibouti are attending this two-day workshop: delegates from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Water, Fisheries, the Ministry of Trade and Tourism, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Equipment, Djibouti Ports & Free Zones Authority, the Djibouti Coast Guards, the Ministry of Energy in charge of natural resources, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and the Djibouti Regional Maritime Training Centre.

In his opening remarks, Daher Elmi, Programme Manager for Natural Resource and Renewable Energy (IGAD) said that the Blue Economy baseline report being discussed in Arta will serve as an input to prepare the national Blue Economy strategy for Djibouti. He added that the delegates from each sector will update the report in the coming two days. IGAD will support the development of the national Blue Economy strategy.

 Mr Elmi Bouh Goudodeh, President of the Regional Council of Arta welcomed all the participants and thanked the organisers for choosing Arta. He wished fruitful deliberations during the meeting.

The workshop will capture contributions from the different sectors of Blue Economy for the national economic development of the Republic of Djibouti. The report will be updated through extensive group discussions and thorough review of the document. The updated baseline report will be available soon and will serve as an input to develop the National Blue Economy Strategy for Djibouti.

 The expected outcomes of the workshop are:

  • Missing data/information filled in;
  • National report validated and approved by all sector organisations;
  • Input to regional report; and
  • Basic document for the validation of the regional BE strategy

Similar workshop will be held in the other IGAD member states: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The National Focal Points for Blue Economy will be engaged to assist in the facilitation of the workshop and the submission of the final reports.

The national Blue Economy baseline reports of the IGAD Member States were developed with financial from the European Union. The national level validation workshops are supported by the Project “Enhancing Blue Economy in the IGAD Coastal Member States for Biodiversity Conservations and Livelihood diversification” funded by the Government of Sweden.

 Background

The project “Enhancing Blue Economy in the IGAD Coastal Member States for Biodiversity Conservations and Livelihood diversification” funded by the Government of Sweden is premised to contribute to the following outcome “the capacity of IGAD and its Member States strengthened by structuring and mainstreaming the BE at both national and regional levels while increasing cooperation and regional integration, and strengthening support to the member states to develop their own national BE strategies. It will also contribute to the effective implementation of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy”. It is a three years (2021 – 2023) project to start the implementation of the IGAD Blue Economy strategy in selected priority intervention areas mainly at four coastal countries (Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan) of IGAD. The project objectives are:

  • To establish a functional Blue Economy structure at IGAD to cater for the regional and national needs (selected member states of IGAD),
  • To assess the impact of pollution and develop mitigation measures on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems, and
  • To increase research and knowledge management/dissemination on key BE indicators (questions for the IGAD region for learning), policy and practice change among the Member States.

In a nutshell, this project intends to achieve the following three broad results:

  • Blue Economy approach in IGAD region harmonized and coordinated to harness the contribution of the different sectors,
  • The health of marine aquatic ecosystems is improved and systems for managing, controlling and reducing aquatic pollution and waste are strengthened in IGAD coastal countries, and
  • Blue Economy enhancing technologies and innovations promoted, documented and disseminated.

IGAD through this project with funding from the Swedish Embassy in Ethiopia, seeks to improve the governance of the Blue Economy in the IGAD region, conduct marine biodiversity situation analyses, make inventory of chemical and plastic pollutants from source to sea, develop apply tools to monitor and mitigate chemical and plastic pollutions in the coastal member states. IGAD plays the central coordination role in the implementation of this project led by the Director of Agriculture and Environment and day to day operation by the Environment Protection and Blue Economy Program Manager.