UWA Oceans Institute

Oceans Institute fostering closer ties with Indian Ocean neighbours

OI Mauritius course participants

The Mauritius course participants and leaders.

OCEANS ONLINE     ISSUE 7. APRIL 2016

Three UWA Oceans Institute members recently returned from Mauritius where they delivered a professional course on the coastal impacts of climate change to university academics and government officials from Mauritius, Rodrigues and Seychelles.

The course, delivered by Professor Ryan Lowe, Andrew Pomeroy and Arnold van Rooijen, focused on how coastal areas are being affected by climate change and the unique coastal challenges small island nations like Mauritius face.
“Our aim was to equip participants with scientific knowledge about the physical processes that occur along coasts of reef fringed islands and how to apply this knowledge to enhance coastal zone management,”

“With this combined knowledge we hope the participants will be able to lead the debate on how to best plan and adapt to the coastal challenges that these island nations face”Andrew Pomeroy said.

As part of a 2014 agreement with the University of Mauritius to develop stronger strategic ties and facilitate joint Indian Ocean research, the two universities have been seeking opportunities, such as this course, to collaborate, educate and explore the emerging research areas of ocean engineering, aquaculture, ocean forecasting, marine energy and marine ecology.

Andrew said the relationship between UWA and the University of Mauritius is a great example of neighbourly engagement across the Indian Ocean that will only become more productive as time goes on.

“Going forward we hope to develop a partnership that involves not only teaching but also strategic research projects unique to small island nations such as Mauritius,” Andrew said.

“Both Universities can bring specific skills and knowledge to such projects and I think this will enable us to better understand the coastal environment of island nations as well as identify where new opportunities may exist for these nations, such as aqua-culture or wave energy generation.”

Part of this successful trip to Mauritius involved participating in Australian High Commission events and meetings.

“It’s great to see attention focused on developing strategic links between Mauritius and Australia surrounding the blue economy”, Professor Lowe said.

The course was funded by the Adaptation Fund established under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

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