The Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is a key element of maritime security: without a good knowledge of the maritime domain, it is impossible to define suitable strategy, acquire the appropriate means of information and action, and organize operations adapted to the threats.
Upon UNODC’s request, CRIMARIO carried out a brief review of MDA in Sri Lanka on 23-30 May 2018. The two experts, commissioned by the project, Jean-Philippe Picquart and Frédéric Monet, were warmly welcomed by the different Sri Lankan administrations involved in maritime security : Navy, Coast Guard, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. After a first visit to Rear-Admiral De Silva, director general operations of Sri Lanka Navy, working sessions moved on in Colombo as well as in Mirissa: Navy national operations centre, regional operations centres of Navy and Coast Guard, coastal radar stations, Fishery Department.
These numerous visits allowed the two experts to understand the maritime security issues of the country, to see in detail the available resources and the processes organized for developing the MDA, both at the operational level and the strategical level, but also at each level of each administration. The analysis of the collected data made it possible to compare the actual MDA with that desired by the Sri Lankan authorities, and to share this conclusion with the Sri Lankan administrations. On the basis of this shared finding, the experts were then able to look for solutions to reduce the gaps and then make a number of major recommendations to reduce them at a lower cost. The mission report was sent to the client in September.
This specific request from UNODC was an opportunity for CRIMARIO to better understand the efforts to be deployed for developing regional cooperation throughout the whole Indian Ocean. It also broadens the outreach of the project whose coordinator is invited to present the MDA issues at the Galle Dialogue held in Colombo on 22-23 October 2018.