An internal planning meeting of IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) on global coasts is taking place this week in Zanzibar.
Marine conservation specialists from a wide range of countries including Costa Rica, Brazil, Fiji and Mozambique are meeting to develop a more strategic approach to conserving the fragile shores of our planet.
One interesting suggestion that has emerged in the discussions is to partner with large scale coastal development projects to conserve marine biodiversity.
Such projects are usually seen as a major threat to biodiversity. However, if they are well designed and managed, they may actually be able to play a positive role in protecting our coasts.
In the oil & gas sector, for example, Yemen LNG has recently built a facility on the Gulf of Aden that has succeeded in saving and protecting corals reefs directly in front of its operations.
It is also engaging pro-actively with the local fishing communities. The major shareholders are Total and Hunt, and IUCN has provided independent expert review of the company