Environmental experts from nine African countries on Wednesday met in Tanzania to discuss issues related to Indian Ocean governance.

The experts are from countries who are implementing the Western Indian Ocean Large Marine Ecosystem Strategic Action Programme Policy Harmonization and Institutional Reforms, which was derived from a previous project funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

Countries, which are implementing the project, include Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique.

In implementing the project the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) is the focal point in Tanzania.

Esnati Chaggu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NEMC, revealed this when speaking in the country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam during a one-day workshop on sustainable ocean resources management in and beyond eastern Africa.

Chaggu called on African nations to ensure delivery of best practices and upholding past lessons in ocean governance.

He said the project was an expression of joint commitment to see that addressing environmental concerns such as pollution, over-exploitation of coastal and marine resources and coastal habitat alteration is effectively and efficiently managed.

“We all contribute towards realization of the sustainable development goals,” Chaggu told participants The current work is implemented by the Nairobi Convention Secretariat under the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Development Programme and GEF.

Chaggu said the overall objective of the project is to achieve effective long-term ecosystem management and that particular attention will be paid to supporting policy harmonization and management reforms toward improved ocean governance.