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Support to marine research for sustainable management of marine and coastal resources in the western Indian Ocean
Berg, H.; Francis, J.; Souter, P. (2002). Support to marine research for sustainable management of marine and coastal resources in the western Indian Ocean. Ambio 31(7-8): 597-601
In: Ambio. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: Oslo; Boston. ISSN 0044-7447, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Berg, H.
  • Francis, J., more
  • Souter, P.

    The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region is renowned for the attractiveness of its coastal zones, high marine biodiversity and rich marine and coastal resources. Yet the countries of the region, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, and Seychelles, are impoverished, and during the last couple of decades signs of environmental degradation, as well as a decline in natural resources and biodiversity, have become more and more obvious. The environments of the region are threatened by a variety of human activities. Poverty combined with rapid population growth and a poor understanding and management of coastal resources has resulted in a number of environment and resource use problems, including habitat destruction, overexploitation of fisheries resources, human-induced erosion and pollution. Of the Western Indian Ocean states, 8 of 10 are developing nations which are at different stages of both political and economic development, and a large proportion of the population depends directly on the sustained productivity of the coastal ecosystems for their supply of food. Environmental degradation of these ecosystems will inevitably affect prospects for development and even the survival of the poorest of coastal communities as they often lack alternative income-generating activities. Thus, there is an urgent need for better and more effective management of natural resources to accrue from them the needed goods and services for improving the quality of life of the people, to sustain the economies of the countries in the region, and to maintain the productivity of ecosystems.

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