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Regional State of the Coast Report

Western Indian Ocean

image of Regional State of the Coast Report

The Regional State of Coast Report for the western Indian Ocean (WIO) is the first comprehensive regional synthesis to provide insights into the enormous economic potential around the WIO, the consequential demand for marine ecosystem goods and services to match the increasing human population, the pace and scale of environmental changes taking place in the region and the opportunities to avoid serious degradation in one of the world’s unique and highly biodiverse oceans.

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Planet: Oceans and life

The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) is construed as an area with unique and age-old geological processes (Obura and others, 2012). Bathymetric features of complex relief and diverse geological origin, in both the deep and shallow water environments, characterize the seafloor topography of the region. The features play a crucial role in influencing water flow, while clearly directing and allowing their passage in intricate pathways (Parson and Evans 2005). The constrained water flow essentially drives all marine ecosystems and species, on evolutionary and ecological scales (Obura and others, 2012). These bathymetric features have significant impacts on the meteorology, ocean circulation, flux of heat and nutrients as well as on the patterns of living marine resources.

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