South West Indian Ocean region strengthens knowledge sharing on climate change with new online portal

South West Indian Ocean region strengthens knowledge sharing on climate change with new online portal

The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) has launched a new collaborative platform for sharing and accessing climate change related information and best practice in the South West Indian Ocean region. The Indianoceania Climate Change Portal, an IOC initiative supported by EU-funded ISLANDS project and AFD is intended to be a reference tool to help build the capabilities of island nations in the region to respond to climate change and its impacts.

Climate change poses a set of unique challenges for the island countries in the region. Its coastal and marine ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves are extremely vulnerable to climate change, as are the livelihoods of the region’s population that are largely dependent on these ecosystems. The countries in the region have national plans and strategies for reducing vulnerability and enabling adaptation and have been undertaking initiatives to build their resilience. The Indianoceania Climate Change Portal supports these initiatives by providing easy access to data and information and a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Image: A screenshot of the Indianoceania Climate Change Portal homepage.

The Portal was conceptualised as a result of a study conducted by Acclimatise for the IOC which aimed at strengthening the commission’s capacity to support its member countries achieve an inclusive climate resilient development path. Acclimatise provided technical assistance to the IOC in defining the architecture and content of the portal through comprehensive web specifications based on the needs, preferences and expectations of its users in the region. The process also leveraged inter-regional experience and knowledge exchanges with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). The technical and editorial development of the portal was funded by IOC and AFD and then taken over by the Seychelles Meteorological Authority, which currently hosts the portal and collaborates with IOC for its day to day operation.

The Portal provides information on key climate data, domestic climate policies and strategies, international commitments and best practices for each member country as well as for the region. Importantly, the portal is a collaborative venture and provides the space for various actors in the region to share relevant information, studies and learnings.

The core objectives of the portal are to:

  • Facilitate the hosting, management and dissemination of climate data, information and knowledge and the filling in of data gaps through a participatory platform
  • Raise awareness and enable access to information for member countries and the world by providing information through a user-friendly interface
  • Promote good practices, projects and initiatives undertaken by various stakeholders and actors such as local communities, economic operators and regional bodies which can influence policy making and responses to specific challenges in the region
  • Engage users on climate issues by offering the opportunity to exchange, share and participate concretely in current or future actions

It is hoped that the Indianoceania Climate Change Portal will open up new avenues for collaborative action not just amongst the countries in the South West Indian Ocean region, but also between the region and the rest of the world.

Visit the portal here.

Cover photo / Baobab trees in Morondava in Madagascar. Credit: Larre, CC by 3.0

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