The annual meeting of AIODIS (African and Indian Ocean Island Developing States), a sub component of the World Bank-funded SWIOFish2 project, was held from the 30th of November to the 2nd of December in Mauritius. The AIODIS beneficiary countries are Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe, Guinea-Bissau, Union of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Representatives from the government, as well as the private sector and the non-governmental organisations from the AIODIS countries gathered to discuss the promotion of circular economy in their respective nations and in the general area. Participants exchanged their views on minimising marine pollution by reducing plastic waste, and promoting green and innovative businesses. The first two days took place at the Maritim Hotel, and were followed by guided tours of the BEM Recycling plant, Polyeco at La Chaumière, along with the Fisheries Research Centre and the Mauritius Oceanographic Institute in Albion on the third day.

The meeting was also accessible online via Zoom and aimed to align and strengthen the commitments of these countries at both regional and national levels.

Participants expressed their willingness to improve the business environment for the emerging circular economy, or to establish a process in order to support young people in the AIODIS project. They were able to, among other things, contribute to the development of action plans. These include decreasing the use of single-use plastics; preventing, reducing and controlling marine pollution; raising awareness of circular economy to school children; identifying right-to-repair reforms to promote circular economy; and creating a shore-side power system for ships anchored at ports.

The IOC acknowledges that the local expertise and the long-term commitment of its partners are essential to the success and sustainability of the SWIOFish2 project results. Representatives of non-governmental organisations such as Synergie Jeunes Océan Indien, CapBusiness Océan Indien and the SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) attended the meeting.

These three days were filled with positive exchanges, as senior officials were able to share the progress and achievements of ongoing projects, as well as best practices of their countries in the field of circular economy. AIODIS is an important platform for the regional stakeholders to interact on circularity issues.