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Seychelles, Mauritius reviewing joint management of Mascarene Plateau Region

Victoria, Seychelles | May 14, 2018, Monday @ 13:51 in National » GENERAL | By: Salifa Karapetyan Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4348
Seychelles, Mauritius reviewing joint management of Mascarene Plateau Region

The Mascarene Plateau, situated to the south-east of the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone, is jointly managed by Seychelles and Mauritius. (Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Representatives from Seychelles and Mauritius met last week to discuss and review progress made on the framework to sustainably develop the Joint Management Area.

The Joint Management Area 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.

“In the meeting, we discussed lengthily the launching of the Joint Management Area in Seychelles and spoke about the symposium that is going to be held in November,” said Philippe Michaud, the special advisor in the Department of the Blue Economy.

The symposium will officially launch the Joint Management Area to make it known to the world what the two countries have to offer when it comes to the Blue Economy, referred to as the Ocean Economy in Mauritius. It will be a prime opportunity to attract potential investors.

Before the symposium kicks off, a joint ministerial meeting will be held. Michaud explained that since the treaty was signed in 2012, there has not been a meeting of ministers of both countries.

On the agenda of last week’s meeting was the discussion of legal and, administrative issues, as well as the action plan for the operationalisation of the strategic plan.

“We need to establish a joint fiscal and taxation code. Laws need to be domesticated and this is in the process of being done,” said Michaud.

The Stand Alone Project of the United Nation Development Programme and the Global Environment Fund (UNDP/GEF) was also discussed. The committee is in the process of recruiting a project manager. The project will help Seychelles and Mauritius better manage the zone by assisting in setting up a framework for the Joint Management Area and capacity building among others.

The meeting follows the one held in January in which an agreement to carry out a seismic survey was signed with Spectrum Geo.

“Following the signature of the agreement with Spectrum to conduct a multi-client seismic survey, that company is now preparing for the mobilisation of seismic and support vessels,” said Michaud.

He added that an environmental impact assessment has been submitted as per the Joint Management Area’s environmental code. The survey will provide an excellent opportunity for two professionals – one each from Seychelles and Mauritius – to receive practical opportunity onboard the vessel. The vessel is expected to start its research in June.

Data collected from the survey will give an insight into the oil and gas prospectively of the area. It will be sold companies involved in oil exploration. 

Another research is being carried out by the Dr. Fridtjof Nansen. Photo License: CC BY-SA 4.0 

Another research is being carried out within the Joint Management Area by Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, a vessel equipped for advanced and multidisciplinary marine research, owned by the Norwegian Organisation for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

“This research project will contribute greatly towards enriching our knowledge of this huge oceanic area which is very poorly known,” said Michaud.

Dr. Fridtjof Nansen has started it scientific research in regards to marine life, oceanography, pollution. Four Seychellois and on expatriate working in Seychelles are onboard the vessel for the six-week long expedition.

Michaud said that this will provide the local scientists with “invaluable practical experiences which will be of great use in the workstations.”

Both the survey and research are not costing Seychelles or Mauritius anything. 

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Tags: Global Environment Fund, United Nation Development Programme, Joint Management Area

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