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UNESCO’s IOC Appoints Seychellois Eco Lawyer To ‘Ocean Decade’ Advisory Board

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Seychellois environmental lawyer Angelique Pouponneau is one of 15 experts that has been selected to sit on the Decade Advisory Board to assist UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in coordinating the UN’s Ocean Decade 2021-2030.

“It is an honour to have been selected. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute and help shape the next decade of ocean science for sustainable development,” Pouponneau told SNA.

The board will provide advice to the IOC’s executive secretary, Vladimir Ryabinin, on global and major regional programmes for action to be taken over the next 10 years.

“I am pleased to see such a star line-up of professionals committed to helping deliver on the Ocean Decade vision,” said Ryabinin in a press statement.

Pouponneau, 31, holds a master’s degree in environmental law, specialising in the law of the sea and natural resources law, and is also a trained climate change negotiator under the AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Programme at the United Nations. She has also served as a legal expert of the African group of the UN General Assembly Sixth Committee in relation to oceans and law of the sea. She is currently the chief executive of the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT).

On the question about what she expects to contribute on the board, Pouponneau said, “I am very passionate about capacity development of the younger generation, so I am keen to push for the engagement of young scientists and social scientists from  small island developing states, throughout the activities of the UN Ocean Decade.”

Pouponneau has worked in different countries in the Caribbean, Pacific and the Indian Ocean on a wide range of projects relating to sustainable fisheries, sustainable management of marine biodiversity within and beyond national jurisdiction, and climate change, in particular climate adaptation and climate finance.

“When I was encouraged to apply, I was very conscious that I am not a scientist, but sought to bring a different set of perspectives to the process, including that of developing countries, especially small island developing states like Seychelles,” she added.

The 15 experts, hailing from 13 different countries, will also provide strategic advice to the IOC Assembly and Executive Council on the implementation of programmes, resource mobilisation strategies and promotion efforts.

The Ocean Decade is a global effort to develop scientific knowledge and partnerships for progress in ocean science and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

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