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Wednesday 26th May 2021, VICTORIA, SEYCHELLES: 

Principal Secretary for Blue Economy, Mr Kenneth Racombo, headed the Seychelles delegation at the 7th Steering Committee Meeting, for the Joint Management Area of the Extended Continental Shelf of the Mascarene Plateau between Seychelles and Mauritius. The meeting was attended by the six Commissioners each from Seychelles and Mauritius, and the Resident Representative for UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles, Ms. Amanda Serumaga.

The Joint Management Area (JMA) is the mechanism of joint jurisdiction between Seychelles and Mauritius over an area of the seabed and its underlying sub-soil in the Mascarene Plateau region. It excludes the water and living organisms above the shelf. The Joint Management Area (JMA) of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) of the Mascarene Plateau was formally established in 2012 by the signing of a treaty between the two countries. The two island nations secured rights to additional seabed covering over 400,000 square kilometres in the Indian Ocean. Seychelles and Mauritius have established the world’s first Joint Management Zone covering such an area, and a joint commission to coordinate and manage the exploration, conservation and development of the living and non-living resources of the seabed in the area.

The area provides Seychelles with additional resources which will potentially contribute to economic diversification in the long run.

The purpose of the meeting was to provide an assessment/overview of the ongoing UNDP-JMA demonstration projects, to agree on the necessary frameworks to be adopted with regards to materialization and implementation of the projects, to discuss on future workplans actions and to decide on the way forward. Also present at the meeting were three experts who are involved in the ongoing UNDP-JMA demonstration projects, and they each made a presentation about the implementation of their projects.

The Project is sponsored by the GEF through UNDP to the total amount of is 2.2 million USD.