From the 9th-11th October 2017 in Freetown (Sierra Leone), the Mami Wata project organized its first meeting of the three Mami Wata Expert Working Groups.
The workshop was hosted and co-organized by the Sierra Leone Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and opened by Mrs. Haddijatou Jallow, the Executive Chairperson of the Sierra Leone EPA. The event brought together 19 participants from 5 different countries within the Abidjan Convention’s region.
This first meeting of the Expert Working groups marked an important step in the development of the Mami Wata project. The 3-day event provided the opportunity for experts from across the region to share their knowledge in working in the three thematic areas of the project, namely Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) , Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) and State of Marine Environment (SoME) reporting. During the workshop, the participants were divided into three groups according to their expertise and asked to review and contribute to three guidance documents or toolkits that are being developed by the project. Each of the three groups on MSP, EBSAs and SoMEreporting presented, at the end of the meeting, their comments on the documents.
In addition to refining the Mami Wata toolkits, the Expert Working Groups also discussed training and capacity development activities related to thematic areas of the project, and how to utilize and disseminate the finalized training materials in the course of the of the Mami Wata Project.
“This meeting is an important milestone for the Mami Wata project”,“We are happy to be able to share the toolkits, for the first time, with a wider audience and we are looking forward to the inputs on these preliminary results from the experts we have the fortune to have gathered at this workshop”.
The Expert Working Groups will continue to play an important role in the project. The groups will provide key input during on processes of MSP, EBSAs and SoME, and also further contribute to capacity development through the Mami Wata project.