Mauritius and Seychelles met with the aim to take stock of the progress made so far as regards the joint management of the continental shelf, yesterday, at the seat of the Department of Continental Shelf, Maritime Zones Administration and Exploration in Port Louis. This is done In the context of the 25th Meeting of Mauritius-Seychelles Joint Commission of the Extended Continental Shelf and 30th Technical Committee Meeting of the Joint Commission, which were held form 17 to 19 July 2023.
The meeting focused on deliberations and decision-making regarding the discussions of the Joint Commission’s 24th meeting. It is recalled that the Joint Management Area (JMA) of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) of the Mascarene Plateau was formally established in 2012 by the signing of a treaty between the two countries.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, Mr Premode Neerunjun, and Ambassador Kenneth Racombo from Seychelles. The Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the United Nations, Mr Jagdish Dharamchand Koonjul; the Director General of the Department for Continental Shelf, Maritime Zones Administration and Exploration, Dr Rezah Badal; the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, Mr Nayen Koomar Ballah; as well as representatives from the Republic of Seychelles were present.
In his opening remarks, Mr Neerunjun said that this silver jubilee meeting is an occasion to look back at past achievements as well as future successes and having new impetus in making things happen for the JMA. He also lauded the fruitful collaboration between Mauritius and Seychelles over the JMA adding that throughout the years, the friendship between the two countries have matured and reinforced further.
He also dwelt on the new Strategic Plan 2023-2028 which has been prepared. The goal of having a Strategic Plan, he added, is to ensure that maritime activities in the JMA are implemented in a rational and sustainable manner that would allow the optimum utilisation of the resources for the benefit of the people of the Republic of Seychelles and the Republic of Mauritius.
For his part, Ambassador Racombo extended his appreciation to the Mauritian Government and added that both countries have overcome a number of challenges and witnessed significant progress together which reflects the strength of their friendship and shared vision for the optimal governance of the JMA.
Dr Badal, for his part, highlighted those discussions during the Meeting focused on sea cucumber exploratory fisheries, the Carbon Credit Projects, and human resources. He added that the Joint Demonstration Project which is a joint information system between Mauritius and Seychelles is a major project which aims at building technical and management capacity in support of Marine Spatial Planning and the effective management of the JMA.
Prior to the Meeting, Ambassador Koonjul and the Consultant from the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy from Seychelles and Co-chair of the Technical Committee, Mr Philippe Michaud, proceeded with the signing of minutes of the Technical Meeting.
Mauritius and Seychelles share management of continental shelf
Seychelles and Mauritius signed two treaties in 2012 to share the management of the continental shelf of the Mascarene Plateau. The first pertains to the joint exercise of sovereign rights by Mauritius and Seychelles on the continental shelf. The second deals with the management of the seabed of the continental shelf.