BENGUELA YOUTH NETWORK
For a sustainable ocean economy
Launch!
The United Nations has declared this decade to be the decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The world is gradually waking up to the fact that the ocean is the key to solving many of our problems, and that if we do not take proper care of it, we will damage a vital food source, a major carbon sink (the ocean is important in slowing down climate change), and will threaten species that live in or by the ocean due to excessive solid waste and liquid (oil) pollution. The careless disposal of fishing gear is a particularly major issue. Angola, Namibia and South Africa are coastal countries which rely on the ocean for fishing, mining, tourism, aquaculture (e.g. oyster farming) and many other sectors which collectively make up what is called the "Blue Economy".

The Benguela Current Convention (BCC) is an intergovernmental Convention established by the Republics of Angola, Namibia and South Africa (Parties) to spearhead regional collaboration for integrated management, sustainable development and protection of the environment, using an ecosystem approach to ocean governance in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME). The BCC is the first inter- governmental Convention in the world to be based on a multi-sectoral approach to Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) management – a move towards managing transboundary resources at the larger ecosystem level (rather than at the national level) and balancing human needs with conservation imperatives.

The vision, mission and key performance areas of the BCC are pursued through the implementation of a Strategic Action Programme (SAP). The SAP has set out policy actions to address priority transboundary environmental challenges as identified through a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA). The BCC recognises the important role that young people can contribute to further the objectives of the SAP and long-term sustainability of the BCLME. The Youth Ambassadors will advocate for young people's voices and actions in conservation and sustainable use of the BCLME through establishing a regional network that would encourage knowledge sharing and innovative approaches in SAP implementation. The Youth Ambassadors will also advise the Benguela Secretariat about issues regarding young people in the region.

This website will serve as a platform to share information about what the Youth Ambassadors are doing, including upcoming events. It may also be a platform to share articles and information about ocean governance and the blue economy in general. If you would like to get in touch, please have a look at the contacts page.
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Swakopmund Jetty. Photo: Andrea Aakre