The One Ocean Hub project unpacked

A global research organisation is seeking to transform the response of countries to urgent challenges facing the ocean.

21 July 2019 | Ministries

Bronwen Currie; MFMR; The long term impact must, however, be considered before any single activity is allowed.

Narraville



Namibia will participate in demand driven research and processes under the auspices of The One Ocean Hub project.

Representatives from various organisations with an interest in the marine environment gathered at the Narraville community hall to discuss how Namibia could benefit from the project.

Bronwen Currie from the ministry of fisheries and marine resources said Namibia was looking to gain knowledge the current status of interaction in ecosystem functioning between the seabed and its associated living aquatic ecosystem as a participant of The One Ocean Hub activities.

“Namibia is not alone in addressing the environmental concerns of seabed mining and would also like to understand the socioeconomic and livelihood impacts on the competing use of its seabed resources and aquatic living ecosystems. In this regard the hub project should focus mainly on specific aspects relating to strategic environmental assessment of seabed mining including diamonds and phosphates.”

Expectations

It is also expected of the project to contribute towards achieving the implementation of the necessary research with integration of results into proposed policy.

“This must be done along with the long term-goal of developing Namibia’s Blue Economy which is currently underway sustainable and for the benefit of all inhabitants. It is of prime importance to Namibia to integrate the legal regulation of the different sectors that contribute to a sustainable and vibrant Blue Economy that addresses socio-economic equity. Capacity development should also take place in line with governments strategic and development plans.”

Currie emphasised that it is very difficult and costly to study deep ocean seabed aspects.

“We do not yet have the specific information or understanding of our deep water as needed to assess cumulative mining impacts neither present baseline conditions for monitoring. We cannot yet assess or predict the impacts or how they would accumulate within the ecosystem if such mining would go ahead along the Namibian coast for over time. The long term impact must, however, be considered before any single activity is allowed.”

Modus operandi

Dr Daniela Diz introduced the hub concept and explained that it is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) which is a key component in delivering the UK AID strategy.

“It puts UK-led research at the heart of effort to tackle the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and will specifically address challenges and opportunities of South Africa, Namibia, Ghana Fiji and Solomon Islands in realising economic, socio-cultural and environmental benefits from the oceans.”

Diz said all research to be conducted in will be coordinated by the ministry of fisheries as the custodian of marine resources.

“The scientific research will be done to gain understanding of the current status of interaction between Namibia’s seabed and its associated living aquatic ecosystem.”



She highlighted that Namibia’s proposed involvement could be centred around five research programmes under the umbrella of the hub project.

“Some of these areas involve the Global Law for Integrated Ocean Management with a view on reviewing, identifying gaps and conflicts in existing laws relating to Blue Economy.”

Diz elaborated that an “emotionally connecting with the ocean” component will for example focus on developing information and communication materials for use in nationwide promotion campaigns.

“It will look at the development of a curriculum for schools and colleges as well as the development of specific ‘ocean education’ inception materials for staff in public and private sectors such as fisheries, marine transport and tourism.”

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