Indian Ocean Commission
The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) is an intergovernmental organization that was created in 1982 at Port-Louis, Mauritius and institutionalized in 1984 by the Victoria Agreement in the Seychelles. IOC comprises five countries in the Indian Ocean: Union of the Comoros, France/Reunion Island, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles.
IOC’s principal mission is to strengthen the ties of friendship between the countries and be a platform of solidarity for the entire population of the Indianoceanic region. IOC’s mission also includes development, through projects related to sustainability for the region, aimed at protecting the region, improving living conditions of the populations and preserving the very natural resources that the countries depend on.
IOC is the only organization in the region which is composed exclusively of Islands; it stands at defending the Islands’ mutual interest at a regional and international level, whilst promoting solidarity and sustainable development.
- diplomatic cooperation;
- economic and commercial cooperation;
- cooperation in the field of agriculture, maritime fishing, and the conservation of resources and ecosystems;
- cooperation in cultural, scientific, technical, educational and judicial fields.
The Maldives is an observer of the commission.
The original ideas were to encourage trade and tourism. Recently, cooperation has focused on marine conservation and fisheries management. The COI has funded a number of regional and national conservation and alternative livelihoods projects through ReCoMAP, Regional Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Coastal Zones of the Countries of the Indian Ocean (PROGECO in French). An example of these projects is project to catalyze the development of sea cucumber and seaweed aquaculture in South West Madagascar with the NGOs, Transmad, Blue Ventures, and Madagascar Holothuria.
Antipiracy Unit (based in Seychelles)
Areas of intervention (AI) 
AI 1: Strategy, Politics and Diplomacy
Head: Jean Claude de l'Estrac, Secretary General
The IOC strives to promote peace and regional stability, without which no development is sustainable. It helps to consolidate democracy, the rule of law, good governance, and is a facilitator for conflict resolution.
To address the major challenges facing the region (piracy, climate change, biodiversity loss, health risks, depletion of fisheries resources ...), it fosters a sustained political and diplomatic dialogue for finding appropriate responses and safeguarding interests of island member states in regional and international bodies.
The IOC thus intervenes in the political and diplomatic cooperation fields at two levels:
Promoting regional stability Safeguarding of insular interests
AI 2: Economy, Trade and Infrastructure
Head: Raj Mohabeer, Chargé de mission
IOC acts as a lever for the regional integration of its Member States by getting its economic actors ready to meet the challenges of globalization. A major vehicle of growth and poverty reduction, regional integration requires infrastructure development, trade assistance and support to the private sector to increase trade among the islands. The IOC also defends the specific interests of island economies of its member states in the regional integration process (East Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean-ESA-IO, and Tripartite) and as well as globally (EPA, WTO).
The IOC focuses on three areas:
The economy Trade Infrastructure
AI 3: Fishing, Agriculture and Energy
Head: Leon Harijhons Martial Razaka, Chargé de mission
IOC contributes to enhance fisheries, agriculture and energy resources, of its member states, from a sustainable development perspective. The sustainable exploitation of these resources is threatened, among other things, by illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU), loss of biodiversity and climate change. There is therefore a need to promote responsible practices and accelerate regional integration in order to tap the existing complementarities among countries, to alleviate poverty, to enhance food security and reduce dependence on imports, in an international context witnessing recently major food and energy crises.
AI 4: Environment and Natural Resources
Head: Gina Bonne, Chargée de mission
IOC aims to combine the preservation of natural resources, with poverty reduction and improvement of the living conditions of the people in the region. The islands of the Indian Ocean are reservoirs of biodiversity, on which populations and economies of the region are heavily dependent. But they are also now one of 34 "hotspots" of biodiversity, that is to say an area with a rich biodiversity, particularly threatened by human activities and climate change. There is therefore a need to protect and preserve this unique natural heritage, and sustainably manage coastal and marine resources, on which key economic sectors such as fishing and tourism, are based.
IOC focuses on several areas:
Biodiversity Coastal zone management Cetaceans Coral Reefs Education and Awareness Marine Protected Areas Marine pollution Sustainable Waste Management
AI 5: Human Development and Regional Security
Head: Denise Azaïs-Vély, Chargée de mission
Man is at the heart of the sustainable development strategy implemented by the IOC. The IOC is geared towards the protection of the people of its member states and the improvement of their quality of life.
It so does, by initiating actions in the following areas:
Health regional security and the fight against transnational crime prevention and management of natural hazards and disasters capacity building and enhancing research
AI 6: Culture and Society
Head: Fatoumia Bazi Abdoulkarim, Chargée de mission
The IOC wishes to create an “indioceanic" identity bond, intensify cultural exchanges and create networks between civil society actors, to accelerate the integration of its member states. The islands of the IOC share a common history and peopling and have similar interests while addressing the changes in their environment. Mobilizing the people to face common challenges such as climate change is also a good opportunity to strengthen the sense of belonging to a common island destiny. While acting as a platform for exchanges between different sustainable development actors, including women, IOC helps people to get closer to each other, and to be enlightened by their respective differences.