Angelique Pouponneau, the CEO of SeyCCAT, was invited to speak at the closing panel of the Marine Regions Forum, which took place on the 30th September to 2nd October in Berlin, Germany. There, she shared insights on the successful projects that the Trust has financed and her expectations of the 2020 processes. Subsequently, SeyCCAT was awarded a grant from the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association to develop knowledge management tools to enable sharing of best practice to the other countries in the Western Indian Ocean. 

Victoria, October 2 – Chief Executive of SeyCCAT, Angelique Pouponneau, was invited to the Marine Regions Forum, a conference providing a unique space for decision-makers, scientists and civil society actors from the world’s different marine regions to discuss and showcase impactful collaborative solutions to ocean health. The overarching theme of the conference was “Achieving a healthy ocean – Regional ocean governance beyond 2020.”

Pouponneau, was invited to speak on the high level closing panel alongside Jens Holte, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director, Oceans, The Nature Conservancy, Arni Matheisen, Assistant Director -General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Director General, Global Issues, Federal Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation, Germany.

Pouponneau was asked about implementing concrete projects on the ground and noting what actually works and how do we ensure that glossy policy targets translate to real action on the ground. She shared the importance of bottom-up approaches as seen in the voluntary fishery closure zone in Praslin and the project collecting data on ‘species of local concern.’ Additionally, she indicated that evidence of meaningful partnership is key to the success of the projects and a means of ensuring that there is a science-policy interface. She pointed to the assessment and valuation of the parrotfish project as one which will deliver a monitoring protocol for the fisheries authorities to use for data collection and data and knowledge that will inform management. She however, highlighted that finance was not the solution in itself but it requires the buy-in from communities and private sector to see the transformational change to sustainability.

Pouponneau pointed to political will at the highest level as critical to solving the challenges facing the ocean; but asked that in 2020, we take stock of what is stopping us from achieving our SDG 14 goals and targets and address those issues – whether it is a lack of resources, working in silos or capacity needs. She noted that although there are set deadlines in 2020, the international community must acknowledge that if we need more time to address complex issues like those that arise in deep seabed mining then we should be willing to accept that and give ourselves more time. The same can be said for BBNJ.

Pouponneau also, confirmed that the Seychelles will be enhancing its emphasis on blue carbon in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) as was announced by Mr Danny Faure, the President of the Seychelles at the UN SG’s Climate Action Summit.

Pouponneau delivered an intervention on the rights and interests of coastal States in the deep seabed mining process at the session on Deep Seabed Mining in the Area: the role of regional ocean governance.

The initiative goes back to commitments by Germany and the European Union made 2017 at the UN Ocean Conference in New York and the Our Ocean Conference in Malta respectively, announcing their support in establishing a multi-stakeholder platform for regional ocean governance. The Marine Regions Forum is a contribution to the Partnership for Regional Ocean Governance (PROG), a collaborative initiative between scientific institutions and UN Environment.