New south African agreement on coastal and marine resources

Published: Saturday 30 September 2006

South Africa, Namibia and Angola have signed an agreement that enables them to utilise the marine and coastal resources of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (bclme), along Africa's southwest coastline. The Benguela Current Commission Agreement, the first of its kind in the world, also facilitates the understanding, conservation and sustainable use of the ecosystem. Benguela ecosystem, a western boundary ecosystem and the strongest wind-driven coastal upwelling system, borders the Atlantic Ocean, off the west coast of southern Africa and is characterised by its temperate climate. Marine scientists from the three countries have been working to understand the ecosystem since 1995. The agreement is considered an important step, as it will lay groundwork to collectively deal with trans-boundary issues such as pollution, shared fish stocks and regional efforts to mitigate the impacts of marine mining and oil and gas production on the environment.

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