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SPINCAM: IOC-UNESCO to discuss ocean governance and blue economy between the Southeast Pacific and Flanders during dedicated week


Panama City, Panama
© UNESCO/Alejandro Iglesias Campos

The work of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in assisting developing countries in creating coastal and ocean governance frameworks will be highlighted during the SPINCAM Week in Flanders from 16 to 19 February 2016, where the latest outcomes and products of the SPINCAM project will be presented to the authorities of Flanders (Belgium), the Flanders Marine Cluster, the Flemish research community and the European Commission.

The Southeast Pacific data and information network in support to integrated coastal area management (SPINCAM) is a project originally designed to support Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru in developing a long-term science-based strategy for the sustainable growth of their coastal areas.

This region is characterized by rapid expansion of coastal communities, in both rural and urban settings, linked to migration to the coastal zone, urbanization, intensification of transport networks in coastal corridors, and accelerated coastal expansion of various sectors of the economy. The main challenge is how to maintain the health of coastal ecosystems in a context of sustainable socio-economic growth.

Establishing an integrated coastal area management (ICAM) indicator framework at national and regional level in these countries enables scientific experts to map out the state of the coastal and marine environment and socio-economic conditions in order to provide stakeholders with the up-to-date policy-relevant information needed to fuel sustainable growth and management of coastal and marine areas.

Jointly organised by IOC-UNESCO, the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific, the Government of Flanders and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in the cities of Ostend and Brussels (Belgium), the SPINCAM week in Flanders will have three key events:

  • Ostend, 16-17 February 2016: SPINCAM and OceanTeacher workshop on ocean governance and sustainable ocean based economy;
  • Ostend, 18 February 2016: Interaction between SPINCAM and the Flemish research community;
  • Brussels, 19 February 2016: SPINCAM high level meeting with the Government of Flanders and the European Commission.

Funded by the Government of Flanders, the project was first approved in 2008 and is currently concluding its second phase. It has been developed since 2009 under the coordination of IOC-UNESCO, through its Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section with valuable contributions on data and information from the IOC Project Office for International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), and at regional level by the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific.

The project’s last publication and atlases on the sustainability of existing and future coastal management practices are available online.

IOC-UNESCO is providing scientific support towards the implementation of targets included in Sustainable Development Goal 14, which commits Member States to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. The Commission has the objective of increasing scientific knowledge, building capacities for research and transfer of marine technology, with the aim of improving the ocean health and increasing the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of countries.


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