In response to an application submitted to IORA by Professor Dennis Hardy, an award was made in 2015 to enable the development of a managed network of environmental organisations in island states in the Western Indian Ocean. The rationale for the project is simple – namely, that there are numerous organisations and individuals in the region with an interest in different aspects of the terrestrial and marine environment, but they are not always aware of each other’s work. It follows from this that there is potential to encourage a great sharing of knowledge and the means to enable such groups to benefit from the work of others and, where appropriate, to find ways to collaborate.
Four island states were selected for the project: Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros and Madagascar. The IORA grant enabled us to appoint two young Seychellois graduates as research officers, in the first place to conduct a survey in each of these states. This was, in due course, followed by a seminar in Seychelles in September 2017, where commonalities and challenges could be discussed and, most pertinently, where the ground could be prepared for continuation of the network (Hardy et al., 2017). The project, which is referred to as WIOe-net, can be found on our website.