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Efficient Policy and Stakeholder Engagement: A Key to Achieve Ocean Sustainability

As an islander from Madagascar, the fourth biggest island in the world with more than one million km2 of marine Exclusive Economic Zone (ZEE) and full of unique biodiversity and blue economic potential, I have developed an inner sense to protect the ocean as our home. Graduated from University of Antananarivo, with a major in Marine Ecosystems and Coastal Areas Management, I’ve come to appreciate the life-giving force of our oceans and gained valuable knowledge about the essential role of the ocean in human life. Thus, I decided to join the public sector to work on ocean governance and environment for I am convinced that that strategic policies and robust stakeholder collaboration are the linchpins for nurturing ocean sustainability.

As the AIS Youth Ambassador from Madagascar, I feel deeply honoured to join forces with 25 youth ambassadors from various AIS countries to champion the cause of our oceans. For over three decades, Madagascar has been suffering from the downfall of climate change with our coastal communities facing the devastating impacts of cyclones, droughts, and floods. This has worsened our livelihoods, forcing people to migrate in response to the shifting environment. In addition to that, the threat of plastic marine debris further complicates our struggle, demanding urgent and effective approach to tackle. Although Madagascar has policies in place for ocean management and marine pollution, there is a pressing need to not only strengthen but also actualise these policies through concerted action – a mission I am eager to undertake.

Drawing on my public sector experience and in-depth understanding of marine policy and environmental law, I propose a strategic partnership between policymakers and the private sector. To do so, the public sector must head up discussions with all the stakeholders, capitalizing on technical knowledge to promote innovative solutions. This collaborative approach can galvanize action, drive innovation, and harness collective expertise to combat marine plastic pollution and climate change.

Moreover, I advocate for the public sector’s pivotal role in facilitating funding for blue entrepreneurship and innovation, fostering a united front of stakeholders to devise strategies that resonate with our national priorities and encourage widespread action. In turn, it will lead to everyone’s engagement to take actions and contribute to the implementation of the policy.

As part of the delegations for the AIS Youth Conference in Bali, I extend heartfelt gratitude to the AIS Forum for providing a platform to expand our networks and for the opportunity to collectively voice our vision for the oceans in the AIS Youth Declaration. It was an amazing experience to have had the chance to advocate for the future ocean we want sealed in the declaration. May this AIS Youth declaration be the foundation to amplify our initiatives to address ocean-based challenges.

In Madagascar, our path forward must be one of unity, where every layer of society, from the government to grassroots organizations, collaborates to mitigate the impacts of climate change and marine debris. I urge all stakeholders to engage actively in environmental campaigns, amplifying the critical importance of marine ecosystems for our collective survival.

The time for action is now. We must refine our legal frameworks related to the ocean and the environment, ensure their effective implementation, bolster stakeholder engagement, promote blue entrepreneurship, and, crucially, strengthen the capacity of government institutions.

Together, we can safeguard our oceans and secure a resilient future for Madagascar and the world.

Written by:
Manohizosoa Sitraka RAKOTONIRINA
AIS Youth Delegate, Madagascar

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After a sideline discussion at the Ocean Conference 2017 in New York City and a follow-up Conference on the Archipelagic and Island States Forum in Jakarta in 2017, a common understanding among AIS participating countries was born. The Archipelagic and Island States Forum was then formally established through the adoption of the Manado Joint Declaration during the first Ministerial Meeting of the participating countries on 1 November 2018.

The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum is a platform designed to include island states and archipelagic countries regardless of their region, size, and development level. A global initiative that brings together 51 archipelagic and island nations to take part in a collective forum addressing challenges of ocean resource usage for sustainable economic growth, climate change resiliency, ocean pollution, emergency management, and the enhancement of sustainable fisheries.

 

The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum stands as a visionary platform, purposefully crafted to encompass the participation of 51 diverse archipelagic and island nations from across the globe. Its overarching mission is to facilitate a collective forum aimed at addressing the pressing issue of sustainable development. Within this forum, these nations come together to forge international partnerships and foster cooperation in their shared commitment to sustainable development. By uniting their efforts and expertise, the AIS Forum plays a pivotal role in harnessing the collective power of these island states to tackle the environmental, economic, and social challenges they face while striving to build a more sustainable and interconnected world.
Five years after the establishment of the AIS Forum, leaders from AIS countries have agreed to strengthen commitment for collaboration among nations. On 11th October 2023 in Bali, Indonesia, at the First High Level Meeting of the AIS Foru,, 32 AIS countries agreed to adopt the Leaders’ Declaration on the Solidarity of the Archipelagic and Island States. The adoption of this declaration marked a significant step for the AIS Forum to further elevate its position in the global scheme. The Declaration focuses on four collaborative areas, which are:

Our Team offers an insightful glimpse into the exceptional individuals who comprise the driving force behind the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum. These dedicated professionals work cohesively to realize our mission and objectives. The AIS Forum, as a platform, is thoughtfully designed to incorporate the active participation of 51 archipelagic and island states from various corners of the world, uniting them within a collective forum to address the critical concerns of sustainable development.

The AIS Forum’s role is to facilitate close cooperation between archipelagic and island states in its four working areas. The forum has fostered connections and collaborative projects through its partnerships with private enterprises, government authorities, universities, NGOs, media and global or regional organisations. This approach aims to create a network of experts, researchers and policymakers who can provide insight and support to the AIS programme.

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Efficient Policy and Stakeholder Engagement: A Key to Achieve Ocean Sustainability

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to our monthly newsletter

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AIS Forum Collaborates with the United Kingdom to Enhance the Digital Ecosystem in Coastal Areas through Indonesia Digital Ecosystem Assessment (IDEA)

VENAMBAK’s Clean Technology for Climate Smart Aquaculture

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to our monthly newsletter