Future Outlook: The Importance of a Science and Ecosystem-Based Approach for the Sustainable Management of Estuaries and Their Life-Supporting Ecosystem Services in the Western Indian Ocean
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The need, but also the momentum for improved management of the coastal ecosystems of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), including its estuaries, is increasing. Initiatives by Governments of the Mainland and Island States of the WIO region to develop and enact appropriate environmental laws and putting relevant regulations in place are highly commendable. The main challenge now involves the enforcement of the same, while a critical need remains to raise more awareness among the general public on issues related to the environmental health and sustainability of the WIO coastal and marine environment. In light of the scarcity of reliable information and data on marine and coastal ecosystems, there also is a critical need for more research to decipher the complex, and often subtle, relationships between land and ocean at the WIO coastal zone. Scientific approaches and research may therefore provide an important basis for better decision making related to the sustainable management of the WIO coastal zone and its important resources.
KeywordsEcosystem approach Estuary management Scientific approach Ecosystem health Western Indian Ocean
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