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Governance Structure
Comprise of a Ministerial Conference, a Commission and a Secretariat.

The Ministerial Conference

1) Each Party shall authorise Ministers to attend the Ministerial Conference, one of whom shall be the head of the delegation, and may be accompanied by alternative representatives, experts and advisers.

(2) The Ministerial Conference shall:

  • (a)   evaluate the implementation of this Convention and approve any changes to the Strategic Action Programme as well as mandate the taking of any actions necessary to facilitate the effective implementation of that programme;
  • (b)   approve the work plan and budget for the period between the ordinary conferences;
  • (c)  approve the procedures, terms and conditions for the appointment of the Executive Secretary;
  • (d)   approve any proposed amendments to the text of this Convention; and
  • (e)   decide on any matter related to the work of the Commission that is not specifically assigned to any other of its organs.

(3) A Ministerial Conference shall be convened at least every two years, or in accordance with a decision of the Ministerial Conference or at a written request by a Party.

(4) Unless the Ministerial Conference decides otherwise, meetings shall be chaired on a rotational basis among the Parties.


  1. Each Party shall be a member of the Commission and shall appoint a Commissioner and an alternate.
  2. The Commissioner shall be accompanied by sectorial representatives, and experts and advisers as may be required.
  3. Unless the Commission decides otherwise, meetings of the Commission shall be chaired on a rotational basis among the Parties.
  4. Meetings of the Commission shall be convened ordinarily once a year or in accordance with a decision of the Commission or at a written request by a Party.

Functions of the Commission

In giving effect to the objective of this Convention, the Commission shall –

  1. coordinate the implementation and review of the Strategic Action Programme and recommend changes to the programme as well as possible action plans as may be necessary from time to time;
  2. provide strategic direction, coordination and evaluation in the implementation of the work plans and budget;
  3. agree on, where necessary, measures to prevent, abate and minimise pollution caused by or resulting from –
  • (i) dumping from ships or aircrafts;
  • (ii) exploration and exploitation of the continental shelf and the seabed and its subsoil; and
  • (iii) land-based sources;

4. agree on, where necessary, conservation and management measures concerning transboundary marine resources and the environment;

5. agree, as appropriate, on participatory rights, such as harvest levels and sharing arrangements concerning transboundary fishery resources;

6. promote, to the greatest extent possible, harmonisation, implementation and enforcement of existing policies and laws pertaining to the conservation and management of transboundary marine resources and environment;

7. encourage harmonisation of conservation and management measures concerning marine resources and the environment;

8. promote and support research programmes related to the transboundary marine resources and the environment;

9. promote the collection, exchange, dissemination and analyses of the relevant data and information, including statistical, biological, environmental and socio-economical;

10. promote collaboration on monitoring, control and surveillance, including joint activities in the Southern African Development Community region;

11. appoint an Executive Secretary and adopt rules of procedures for his or her functions;

12. support training and strengthening of capacity in areas covered by this Convention;

13. ensure adequate funding and resources to sustain the long- term operations of the Commission;

14. establish subsidiary bodies as it considers desirable for the exercise of its functions and direct their activities; and

15. carry out such other activities as may be necessary for the Commission to achieve the objective of this Convention.

Permanent Committees of the Commission

There are hereby established as permanent committees to the Commission an Ecosystem Advisory Committee, a Finance and Administration Committee, and a Compliance Committee to provide advice and recommendations to the Commission on matters within their respective areas of competence and carry out such activities as requested from time to time by the Commission.

  1. Each Party shall appoint experts to each Committee.
  2. Each Committee may establish working groups as it deems necessary.
  3. Each Committee shall establish rules and procedures for its functioning, including work plans and budgets, to be approved by the Commission.

The Ecosystem Advisory Committee

The Ecosystem Advisory Committee shall provide to the Commission the best scientific advice and relevant information available and shall –

(a)   establish and manage a science programme; and
(b)   recommend conservation and management measures.

The Finance and Administration Committee

The Finance and Administration Committee shall provide financial and administrative advice to the Commission and shall, inter alia –

(a)   monitor the implementation of the budget and review the audited financial reports; and
(b)   review and recommend the projected budget for approval.


The Compliance Committee shall provide the Commission with information, advice and recommendations on the implementation of and compliance with the measures adopted to give effect to the objective of this Convention and shall –

(a)   coordinate compliance activities; and
(b)   coordinate with the other Committees on matters of common interests.

The Secretariat

  1. provide services to the Ministerial Conference, the Commission and its subsidiary bodies to facilitate the execution of their functions;
  2. establish rules and procedures of operation, functioning and appointment of its staff to be approved by the Commission;
  3. propose the creation or termination of such positions as deemed necessary to perform its functions, with the approval of the Commission;
  4. source resources, additional to the contributions made by the Parties, to carry out and implement the programmes of the Commission;
  5. establish partnerships with other organisations; and
  6. perform such other functions as the Commission may determine.

National Coordinators

Each Party may appoint, at its own expense, a National Coordinator to coordinate sectorial participation at national level.

Finance and Budget

(1)   Each Party shall pay the expenses of its own delegation to any meetings held pursuant to this Convention.

(2)   The Parties shall contribute in equal proportions to the budget of the Commission that shall be payable in the currency of the country in which the headquarters of the Commission is located.

(3)   The Executive Secretary shall submit drafts of the annual budgets for the two succeeding financial years to each Party no later than sixty days before the annual meeting of the Commission.

(4)   A Party that fails to pay its contributions for two consecutive years shall not, during the period of its default, have the right to participate in the taking of decisions and adopt recommendations in the Commission.

Cooperation with other Organisations

(1)   The Commission shall seek to develop cooperative relationships and may enter into agreements with organisations that can contribute to its work.

(2)   The Commission shall provide for the participation by invitation or on request of organisations having special competence in the fields of activity of the Commission in its meeting as observers in accordance with its Rules of Procedure.

Decision and Recommendations

(1)   Decisions and recommendations shall be taken by consensus.

(2)   Concerning decisions and recommendations on transboundary issues affecting only two Parties, consensus means that those decisions and recommendations are supported by the affected Parties.


(1)   Each Party shall take measures to ensure the implementation of this Convention and any decisions and measures agreed pursuant thereto, including adoption of the necessary legislation.

(2)   Each Party shall report to the Commission on an annual basis indicating how it has implemented decisions of and acted on recommendations by the Commission.

Settlement of Disputes

(1)   The Parties shall cooperate in order to prevent disputes.

(2)   If any disputes arise between Parties concerning the interpretation or implementation of this Convention, those concerned shall consult among themselves as soon as possible in order to settle the dispute by negotiation or any other means as they may agree upon.


The official languages shall be English and Portuguese.


The headquarters shall be established in Namibia.