The GEF LME:LEARN project, working together with partners, supports a series of regional networks, to improve regional governance and cooperation within respective LME regions, as well as coordination between LME, MPA, MSP and ICM projects. The networks promote integration and linkage of LME, ICM, MSP, and MPA projects (linked to their participating Governments via inter-ministerial committees), regional fisheries bodies, academic communities and the private sector, as well as appropriate linkage components to Port State Measures Agreement compliance and IMO-related Conventions.
To date, GEF LME:LEARN's direct involvement has actively supported LME/ICM/MPA projects in three regional dialogue processes - in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia. Each Regional Network is coordinated by the PCU with the support of the IOC Regional Subcommissions.
The Regional Networks work on the prioritization of training needs, identify and prioritize the twinning opportunities within and across regions; identify scientific research needs and support that could be pooled within or across regions; identify means for stronger involvement of science and university communities in the regional networks; and finally, they utilise the “Inter-project Collaboration Opportunities” (ICO) mechanism to strengthen partnerships across the region.
Regional Network Annual Meetings are convened once a year which are great opportunities for networking among projects working on LMEs, MPAs, MSP, and ICM at the regional level. These meetings also integrate targeted training on thematic subjects such as Marine Spatial Planning, Ocean Governance and Economic Valuation.