[Answered] Bay of Bengal Maritime Dialogue (BOBMD) is an important step toward protecting the Rich marine ecosystem. Elaborate.

Introduction: Write down a few points on BOMBD.
Body: Highlight the importance of the marine ecosystem in the Bay of Bengal. Write a few more points on the significance of the BOMBD in dealing with the marine ecosystem of the Bay of Bengal.
Conclusion: Write e brief conclusion.

Bay of Bengal Maritime Dialogue (BOBMD) is organised by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and the Pathfinder Foundation. The participants called for stepped up efforts in areas such as environmental protection; scientific research; curtailing illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, as well as the development of standard operating procedures with maritime law enforcement agencies.

Importance of marine ecosystem of BOB:

  • Bay of Bengal is home to a large network of estuaries, mangrove forests of around 15,792 square km, coral reefs of around 8,471 sq.km, sea grass meadows and mass nesting sites of sea turtles.
  • It is an important source of natural resources for a coastal population of approximately 185 million people. The fishermen population alone is to be around 3.7 million, with an annual fish catch of 7% of the world’s catch and valued at around U.S. $4 billion.
  • According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Bay of Bengal is one of IUU fishing hotspots in the Asia-Pacific.

How BOBMD is a right step?

  1. Transboundary problem: Since marine problems like pollution, overfishing, habitat degradation and climate change are transboundary in nature, BOBMD ensures marine environmental cooperation.
  2. No regional track platform: It could enable all littoral states of the Bay, including Indonesia and Malaysia, which are not BIMSTEC members, to come together for solving issues.
  3. Regional Framework for Coastal and Marine Environmental Protection: It is recommended to improve the coordination of project-level activities by regional and national organizations.
  4. Data sharing policies: To further strengthen cooperation on marine scientific research, it could provide opportunities for littoral states in the Bay to build trust.
  5. Regional guidelines for IUU practices: It include concrete measures on how to deter and prevent IUU practices; international vessel tracking system a, Increased monitoring, control and surveillance in IUU fishing hotspots in the Bay.
  6. It recommends strengthening fisheries management, promoting sustainable fishing methods, establishing Marine Managed Areas (MMAs), and developing frameworks for regional cooperation on pollution, such as industrial and agricultural waste and oil spills.

It is important for stakeholders in the Bay of Bengal to identify solutions that meet national needs, leverage regional strengths and meet global goals and responsibilities, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). BIMSTEC must arise, awake and act before it is too late. The summit must set in process regular meetings of officials, supported by scientists and experts, to prevent the further environmental degradation of the Bay of Bengal.

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