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The BCC Secretariat lead by its Acting Executive Secretary, Ms Thandiwe Gxaba, held a workshop with officials from the South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), and its agency the Council for Geoscience (CGS) in Cape Town from 17 – 19 May 2022. The meeting was organised through the South African (SA) focal point Ministry (DFFE) to the BCC, Mr Yamkela Mngxe. The aim of the workshop was to align the work of the BCC and the DMRE, to ensure common understanding, identifying opportunities and areas of collaboration. The workshop was a direct response to the challenges highlighted in the medium-term review of the SAP implementation on integration of SAP activities into national plans.

The agenda comprised of presentations by the BCC Secretariat and donor-supported projects to introduce its mandate, structure and functions, and presentations by the DMRE on priorities relevant to the marine and coastal environments. The presentations set the scene for discussions on collaboration for the successful implementation of the BCC’s SAP.

The workshop was also graced by the presence of Ms Madeleine Nyiratuza, a UNDP regional technical specialist for water, ecosystem, and biodiversity for Africa. Ms Nyiratuza applauded the initiative to have a workshop of this nature emphasising the importance of integrating the work of different maritime sectors in ensuring a healthy and productive ecosystem. She concluded by recognising the vital role that the BCC has played in the successful implementation of the GEF/UNDP funded programmes in the region over the years and shared the current developments regarding conceptualisation of GEF 8 programme.

The meeting was a great success with concrete outputs and recommendations.