Charting a Sustainable Future: BOBP-IGO Governing Council Convened in Negombo
The XII Governing Council Meeting (GCM-XII) of the BOBP-IGO was held in the scenic coastal city of Negombo, Sri Lanka on 19 - 20 January 2024. Country representatives from Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka participated in the meeting with the observers from FAO, IUCN and SEAFDEC. The Governing Council is the highest decision-making body of the BOBP-IGO responsible for reviewing BOBP-IGO's past performance, and administrative affairs and approving the work plan. Bangladesh, vice chair of GCM-XI elected as the Chair for GCM-XII, taking the baton from the Maldives, and will now guide the BOBP-IGO secretariat. India is elected as the Vice Chair for GCM XII. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. P Krishnan, Director BOBP-IGO thanked the Chair, GCM-XI Mr. Adam Ziyad/Mr Ahmed Shifaz for successfully charting the Organisation's course and welcoming the new Chair, Mr A. T. M Mostafa Kamal, Additional Secretary, MoFL, Bangladesh and Vice Chair, Dr Sanjay Pandey, Assistant Commissioner, Department of Fisheries India. The GCM-XII appreciated the past work of the Organisation, especially the success of the Organisation in raising funds to carry out various regional activities on important issues such as stock assessment, safety at sea, climate change and advancing regional cooperation in R&D. The Council especially appreciated #BOBSAFE - A FAO/BOBP regional Plan of action to improve safety at sea, #BIMReN - An India-BOBP-IGO educational drive to promote collaborative research on marine fisheries amongst #BIMSTEC countries and Maldives, and #BOBSAN- a professional network of stock assessment experts in the region. The GCM-XII welcomed the BOBLME Project being executed by the #BOBP-IGO in its member countries and called for close cooperation between the project execution partners #IUCN and #SEAFDEC. The #BOBLME Project funded by #GEF and #NORAD aimed at sustainable governance of the Bay of Bengal. The GCM-XII also highlighted the need to address #IUU fishing in the region and develop institutional arrangements for better management of the #BOBLME.