28 July 2022
IPOI - REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE ARRANGEMENTS IN MARINE ECOLOGY IN THE INDO-PACIFIC BASELINE STUDY
This report was publicly released in July 2022 and is a product of the Australia-India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative. The project leaders were Dr Anthony Bergin, senior fellow at ASPI and Dr David Brewster, senior research fellow at the National Security College, with research teams from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and the Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata.
The study found that there were potential benefits in pursuing an inter-regional Indo-Pacific approach in relation marine ecology challenges, including the development and/or application of norms across the Indo-Pacific in relation to marine ecology challenges; the sharing of the lessons/benefits from well-functioning regional arrangements or institutions with regions where arrangements are less developed or less well- functioning and the development of shared perspectives towards environmental challenges across the Indo-Pacific.
The report includes recommendations as to how Australia can work with Indo-Pacific partners to promote regional cooperation in marine ecology, including:
- working with India to co-sponsor an Indo-Pacific Declaration and Action Plan on Marine Plastics; undertaking a quantitative study on IUU fishing in the Bay of Bengal area.; *seeking observer status with key regional groupings such as BIMSTEC and the Indian Ocean Commission, with a focus on engagement on marine ecology issues;
- promoting the pairing of Australian and Indian coastal cities to share experiences in combating marine ecology challenges;
- facilitating sharing of experiences of Pacific and Indian Ocean island states on marine ecology issues through hosting events, workshops and training exercises in fisheries management, marine plastics and ocean science.
- increasing support to the Group of 16 IOTC Coastal States, to strengthen regional fisheries management in the Indian Ocean.
- working with Pacific partners to establish a Pacific Ocean Expedition modelled on the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition.
- sponsoring an Indian Ocean environmental security centre as a regional hub for professional development and research in environmental security.