The purpose of the Annual LME meeting was to provide a global forum for GEF-funded marine and coastal leaders and institutions, aimed at sharing experiences and lessons with respect to ecosystem-based governance. In contrast to previous years, the meeting was expanded to encompass not only LME projects, but other marine and coastal initiatives supported by the GEF, including ICM and MPA efforts in keeping with the upcoming Community of Practice (COP) Project in order 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 leaders (i.e. LME , ICM, MPA, among others) to discuss experiences and lessons learned;
- Mobilize knowledge resources, new scientific applications and tools to support project implementation and organizational action related to priority knowledge topics;
- Review the progress of regional marine and coastal projects,, disseminating best practices amongst projects and discuss emerging issues requiring common responses;
- Share lessons learned from existing efforts with regard to the LME Governance project priorities (i.e. regional networks, capacity building training and twinning) and identify future priorities to help guide the COP Project
IOC as the lead executing agency supporting the Community of Practice project and Secretariat for the Project Coordination Unit provided Technical assistance for the Annual LME and Coastal Partners Meeting. A planning committee composed of GEF, NOAA, UNDP, ICES, IUCN, IOC and a small group of LME project managers provided guidance on the development of the meeting programme and identification of speakers and session chairs.
The primary objective of the 2014 meeting was to set the framework for the COP Project partnership, operationalising its objectives and expected outcomes and engaging marine and coastal project leaders in meeting those objectives.