IRD in Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean
Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, and the Indian Ocean (“Afrique australe, de l’Est et océan Indien” or AEI) encompass an area of approximately 10 million km² and include close to 350 million inhabitants. Mostly oceanic, this area comprises 10 million km² of exclusive economic zones (EEZ), 2.6 million km² of which are French.
The IRD is present in fifteen independent states, a French region and a French department. Fourteen of these states belong to the African Union and are thus subject to a scientific consortium with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and participate in the research and technological activitie undertaken in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Many agents (80 in 2012) are assigned to work in the AEI region and numerous missions are carried out on developmental issues, sometimes with funding from the European Union:
- Global warming;
- Emerging diseases, biodiversity, sustainable development and natural resources;
- Heritage, resources and governance.
Many recently established AIRD (The Inter-agency Institute for the Research on Development or “Agence Inter-établissement de Recherche pour le Développement”) teams and a joint international laboratory are working together in this region.
Numerous scientific networks exist and allow for the organisation of different partnerships at the regional and sub-regional levels and across the world. The IDR is particularly implicated in the:
CAAST NET: A joint African-EU platform dedicated to developing collaborations between the two regions in science and technology.
ERAFRICA: A joint African-EU platform that encourages discussions and collaborations between state members of the two unions and joint multilateral financing. The South African representative is also the coordinator of ERAFRICA.
- South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Project (SWIOFP): a project which aims at improving the scientific monitoring systems for national and foreign fishing, in the exclusive economic zones of states bordering the South-East of the Indian Ocean. The IRD coordinates the French speaking aspects of the project.
- The Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA): an organisation that aims to reinforce the scientific evaluation ability and effective management of coastal and marine resources in the West Indian Ocean region.
- Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC): intergovernmental organisation with appointed to manage tunas and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean and adjacent areas.