Meet Agnes Olin and Edmond Sacre who have recently visited Mombasa in Kenya. The visit was part of the WIO Symphony project – a web-based tool that assists in analyzing the cumulative environmental impacts of human activities and the outcomes of different ocean management scenarios in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO).
During the five days, Agnes and Edmond participated in a workshop entitled 'Capacity Development Workshop on Marine Spatial Planning Tools and Information Management in the Western Indian Ocean Region.' The workshop was organized by the Nairobi Convention in collaboration with the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. Participants in the workshop came from various countries, including Seychelles, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Somalia, Mauritius, and Comoros.
– Ed and I participated as representatives of SLU. We were involved in assisting with training on the use of WIO Symphony and how the tool can be updated with new and improved data. Our goal is to increase the usage of the tool and contribute to its local maintenance and updates, without relying on assistance from Sweden, says Agnes Olin, a researcher in marine conservation and spatial planning at SLU Aqua.
– A common thread throughout all countries in the WIO is their close connection to and dependence on the ocean. It provides an income and sustenance to many in the region. We hope WIO Symphony will help these countries develop sustainably, so that the magnificent biodiversity in the region is maintained, and so that ocean resources can provide economic growth for the present and future generations, says Edmond Sacre, an environmental analysis specialist at SLU Aqua.
– It has been very interesting to gain insight into how these countries are working with marine spatial planning in a completely different ecosystem and under very different conditions than we have in Sweden, Agnes concludes.
Agnes and Edmond together with the entire group from the workshop.