Cozumel diving

Marine Regions Forum 2023

7–9 November 2023 | Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of


Experts from the Western Indian Ocean and other regions met to share knowledge and exchange best practices on ways to enhance cooperation and coordination to advance ocean governance, guided by the themes of inclusion, innovation, and implementation.

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Cozumel diving

Photo by Marcelo Halpern

The Marine Regions Forum brings together global and regional experts to foster dialogue, exchange knowledge, and leverage new ideas to advance ocean governance for the Wester Indian Ocean region and beyond.

The Marine Regions Forum, initiated in 2019, is dedicated to addressing critical ocean issues, developing recommendations, and forging partnerships for effective ocean governance. The Forum acts as an inclusive exchange platform for different stakeholders to strengthen regional and international ocean governance towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 14 on life below water.

The Marine Regions Forum 2023 conference was hosted in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region under the theme, “Navigating Ocean sustainability in the Western Indian Ocean and beyond.”

The first Marine Regions Forum convened from 30 September – 2 October 2019, in Berlin, Germany, under the theme “Achieving a healthy Ocean,” with a focus on regional ocean governance beyond 2020. The meeting outcome emphasized the essential importance of regional approaches in addressing gaps in ocean governance, ensuring sectoral coherence, and accelerating achievement of the SDGs.

The Marine Regions Forum 2023 explored what is needed to enhance cooperation and coordination to advance ocean governance within the WIO region and beyond. In addition to highlighting the successes and challenges in the WIO region, the Forum brought together selected experts from other regions to share knowledge and exchange good practice in the meeting’s theme under four topical strands:

  • Tackling the triple planetary crisis;
  • Fostering the sustainable blue economy;
  • Implementing global goals at the regional level; and
  • Regional ocean governance

Each day of the meeting also featured a plenary session. The first plenary, “Building a shared understanding,” set the stage for the Forum and introduced the topics. The second, “Inclusivity and innovation in ocean governance,” explored advances in scientific knowledge and innovation, and strategies for fostering inclusivity. The final plenary, “Shaping the path ahead,” focused on the way forward for ocean governance and reflections on requirements to implement positive change.

The meeting took place from 7-9 November 2023, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and was co-hosted by Tanzania and Seychelles, which represent mainland and island states in the region and their collaboration is indicative of the importance of an inclusive regional approach to ocean governance.

The Marine Regions Forum 2023 was organized in cooperation with the Nairobi Convention Secretariat and a range of partners from the Western Indian Ocean region, and from other marine regions and organisations.” The Marine Regions Forum 2023 was co-funded by the European Union, Swedish Ministry for Climate and Enterprise, and the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) writers for this meeting were Wanja Nyingi, Ph.D., and Christina Fernandez. The Digital Editor was Anastasia Rodopoulou. The Editor was Leila Mead.

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Negotiating blocs
European Union