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South Africa successfully hosts 5th Indian Ocean Dialogue and 24th Indian Ocean Rim Association Academic Group meetings

By Jordan Van Stavel, Nicole du Plessis (SA-IORAG Project Coordinator) and Juliet Hermes (SA-IORAG Chair), SAEON Egagasini Node
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In August this year, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), in collaboration with the South African Indian Ocean Rim Association Academic Group (SA-IORAG), hosted both the 5th Indian Ocean Dialogue and the 24th Indian Ocean Rim Association Academic Group meetings.

The Durban beachfront welcomed delegates from Member States such as Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Thailand, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates and South Africa together with two of the Dialogue Partners, Germany and France.

Representatives and officials from the Regional Centre for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT), the Chair in Indian Ocean Studies (CIOS) and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA; as an observer) were also present.

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Delegates from as far afield as Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Thailand, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates attended the 5th Indian Ocean Dialogue

The 5th Indian Ocean Dialogue was held over the first two days. The proceedings consisted of panel discussions and updates on the following IORA-related priorities:

  • The role of academia in supporting the goals of IORA;
  • Peace and development in the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR);
  • Sustainable development in the IOR; and
  • Economic development in the IOR.

Launch of new handbook 

The much anticipated and newly published The Blue Economy Handbook of the Indian Ocean Region, was launched during the 5th Indian Ocean Dialogue, a proud moment indeed for the collaborating editors Professor Vishva Nath Attri of the CIOS and Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller, an Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council and South Africa’s representative as regional chair of the IORAG. The book highlights the importance of sustainability for the future by “providing fresh insights into the various aspects and impacts of the Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean Region”.

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One of the meeting highlights was the launch of The Blue Economy Handbook of the Indian Ocean Region, which stresses the importance of sustainability for the future by “providing fresh insights into the various aspects and impacts of the Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean Region”.

The 24th Indian Ocean Rim Association Academic Group meeting took place on the final day, providing a more formal platform during which a number of IORA-related discussions were held. Representatives were able to make decisions, discuss action plans, as well as provide feedback and updates on past, current and future IORA projects conducted by each country.

The event highlighted the dedication of a diverse group of people whose common goals and interests are directed towards the preservation of the Indian Ocean and its resources.

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