The over-arching goal of the Annual Consultation Meeting of Large Marine Ecosystem and Coastal Partners is to provide a global forum for GEF-funded and other marine and coastal practitioners (LME, MPA, MSP, ICM, LMMA), leaders, international and national organizations and institutions, aimed at sharing experiences and lessons and forging alliances and collaboration for ecosystem-based ocean governance and management, in pursuance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular the SDG14. These Meetings contributes to the development of LME-centred partnerships by engaging marine, coastal management, biodiversity and coastal climate change adaptation project leaders in meeting that objective.
The Annual LME Consultation Meeting has an overall aim to provide support to the LME Community with the objective to:
● Foster a mutually supportive global network of leaders and institutions engaged in marine and coastal ecosystem-based management by providing a forum for project (LME, ICM, MPA, MSP, climate change adaptation and other) leaders and practitioners to discuss issues relative to the projects’ implementation and priority issues requiring common responses;
● Mobilize knowledge resources, and review the emerging scientific and practical applications and tools to support the implementation of LME, marine and coastal portfolio of projects;
● Share lessons learned from existing efforts with regard to the GEF LME:LEARN and IW:LEARN projects (i.e. regional networks, capacity building via training and twinning, etc.) and identify future priorities to be undertaken within the LME portfolio; and
● Strengthen regional ocean governance mechanisms through enhanced collaboration between Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) programs, Regional Seas programs and Regional Fisheries Bodies (including Regional Fisheries Management Organizations), and the wider stakeholder community.
The LME Consultation Meeting should not prescribe the exact requirements each partnership should meet, but be the forum for exchanging the experiences, in particular the good practices, in building and maintaining partnerships, proposing minimum requirements for a successful partnership, pointing towards desired outputs and outcomes, and creating framework for successful implementation of the SDG14 targets. The meeting should also be a gathering place for all those that have been hitherto involved in existing partnerships, but also for new actors that will bring enhanced vision to the partnership including representatives of business sector, international and national financing institutions, NGOs and other. The aim of the meeting is not to create new partnerships as an immediate goal, but to create platform where new initiatives to achieve 2030 Agenda’s goals will materialize through partnerships in the future.