Improved information sharing for marine scientists all over Africa is now possible following the installation of a high quality Internet video-link between KMFRI and collaborating partners in key research institutions all over the world. The facility was utilized between February 12 and 16, 2018, during a training workshop on marine biogeographic data management held at KMFRI’s Dolphin Conference Hall, Mombasa headquarters. Scientists from VLIZ (Flanders Marine Institute) participated via video-conferencing from their working stations in Oostende, Belgium.
The training, which comprised participants from Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros, Mauritius, Congo (DR), Nigeria, Madagascar and Namibia, focused on skills required to address knowledge gaps on issues of global change, climate variability, conservation, and sustainable exploitation of our ocean resources. Participants had their own self-assessments on the adequacy or lack-thereof of critical information for policy formulations as well national status reports.
Some of the national reporting obligations that have always remained challenging to many countries include the IPCC reporting, Convention on Biological Convention, Abidjan Convention, just to name a few. It is in this context that the training was organised with kind sponsorship from the IOC of UNESCO within the Ocean Biogeography Information System (OBIS) project. This particular IOC-UNESCO collaboration is part of the Capacity Development strategic plan of 2014- 2021. One of the tools for Capacity Building is the Ocean Teacher Global Academy (OTGA) project supported by the FUST trust fund of the Flemish Government of the Kingdom of Belgium. KMFRI is hosting one of the OTGA Regional Training Center (RTC). The RTC will increase the thresholds of skills development in Africa at a time when such skills are on demand for the Blue Economy and other ocean governance initiatives in the Indian Ocean rim.