The IUCN-executed Seamounts Project – the first GEF-funded project looking at the governance of areas beyond the limit of national jurisdiction – was successfully received by an audience of Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) practitioners, who welcomed this new endeavour.
In the frame of the 11th Consultative Committee Meeting on LMEs, that took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on July 9-10, IUCN held an introductory meeting for the Project. While LMEs traditionally focus on coastal waters, their interest in the governance of the high seas is growing. The Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems Project (ASCLME), a partner of the Seamounts Project, is pioneering this new interest by looking at governance issues that fall within the boundaries of the LME but outside of national jurisdiction. This partnership will complement efforts in improving the management and conservation of high seas resources in the southern Indian Ocean.
Later in the day, the first Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of the Seamounts Project approved the budget and workplan as submitted to them, providing the project with a robust kick-off. IUCN and the PSC members also welcomed the accession of the ASCLME Project as a full member of the PSC.