WIO Symphony – assess the impacts of your planning decision

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WIO Symphony is a collaboration between the Nairobi Convention and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, to co-develop and implement a tool for measuring cumulative environmental impact in the Western Indian Ocean.

Upon request from the Nairobi Convention, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management has initiated a collaboration with the Nairobi Convention and its ten Member States in East Africa. The purpose is to co-develop and implement Symphony in the Western Indian Ocean.

About Symphony 

Symphony – a tool for ecosystem-based marine spatial planning

The Symphony tool for the Western Indian Ocean

The Symphony tool for the Western Indian Ocean covers 9 percent of the world ocean.

Countries and partners

WIO Symphony is part of our programme for development cooperation, SwAM Ocean, which involves the development states of the region. WIO Symphony is also part of our bilateral collaboration with South Africa and other countries of the region that are not classed as LDCs and SIDS - Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles and France through La Réunion.

Representatives from each country form a Technical Working Group (TWG), who are involved in the collaboration from the start to ensure the WIO Symphony-tool is tailored to the specific needs of the end users.

In the WIO Symphony-collaboration, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management relies on the support from several partners. The Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) contributes with expert knowledge on marine geology, as well as technical and analytical expertise. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) collects and processes relevant data. The University of Gothenburg (GU) provides expert knowledge on deep sea ecology and oceanography.


Please note this timeline is not fixed but evolves as the work progresses.


      In October, TWG (Technical Working Group) answers questionnaire on priorities for map products, spatial scope, prioritization criteria, and key data issues. In November, TWG participates in the 1st Workshop to further define WIOSym scope, eco-components and human pressures.

        In December, the Swedish partners perform updates, tests and validation of the Symphony tool, preparing export of software to Nairobi Convention and possible connection with clearing house mechanism (CHM).

            In February, TWG+ (Technical Working Group and experts invited/approved by TWG members) participates in the 2nd Workshop on data collection, based on earlier TWG input. In March, the Swedish partners present WIOSym at Science to Policy meeting.

            In June, TWG+ participates in the 3rd Workshop on preliminary results. Showcase and discussion on completed data layers. Common review of data collection.

                In September, TWG+ participates in the 4th Workshop on sensitivity matrix. Discussion on the principles around defining sensitivity scores (how sensitive an eco-component is to a pressure).

                    In October, TWG+ participates in the 5th Workshop on preliminary results. First test of Symphony and showcase completed data layers. In November, there is production of communication materials (eg. movie, report, webpage).

                        From January to June, there is continued data collection and modelling for refinements. Operational test of WIOSym version 1. Communication and review by scientific community and stakeholders.

                            From July to December, there is evaluation by Secretariat and member states. Launch of fully completed WIOSym version 2, including user-training per country. Hand-over to Nairobi Convention, and Secretariat develops a management plan. WIOSym may support the National MSP processes and updates to the Regional MSP Strategy.

                              At the end of the year, the Swedish partners and Secretariat adapt Symphony into WIOSym. Setup and test of software system in Nairobi. Upload and test of first co-developed data layers (eco-components and human pressures).


                                  During all of 2021 and 2022, there is technical collaboration on data collection and modelling. TWG+ individuals and international experts work together with Swedish partners for the creation of WIOSym datasets. TWG+ participates in thematic groups to discuss data, assumptions, and outputs. Technical GIS training of selected staff nominated by TWG.



                                  WIO Symphony
                                  Email WIO Symphony

                                  Linus Hammar
                                  Senior analyst
                                  International Affairs
                                  Tel: +46 (0)10-698 61 15
                                  E-mail Linus

                                  Daniel Mattsson
                                  Technical development
                                  Geological Survey of Sweden
                                  Tel: +46 (0)18-17 90 15
                                  E-mail Daniel

                                  Gustav Kågesten
                                  Technical development
                                  Geological Survey of Sweden
                                  Tel: +46 (0)18-17 90 15
                                  Email Gustav

                                  Published: 2021-01-26
                                  Updated: 2021-10-15