1st IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Forum: Abu Dhabi Declaration

Ministers from Member and Dialogue Partner Countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) held their first high-level meeting on the region’s renewable energy sector in Abu Dhabi on 21 January 2014, in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The Indian Ocean Rim, representing approximately 15% of global energy demand, is rapidly emerging as a cost-competitive market for renewable energy. Recognising the many benefits of renewable energy, the ministers encourage its growing prominence in the region’s energy portfolio, particularly leveraging cooperative initiatives among the IORA community. In this regard, the ministers agree to:


  • Endorse the expansion of the Global Renewable Energy Atlas (‘the Atlas’), the world’s largest-ever joint renewable resource data project, coordinated by IRENA, and consider signing the Statement of Interest for the Global Renewable Energy Atlas
  • Encourage their agencies, national research institutions, government-funded programs and partners, as well as private enterprises and research centers, to contribute data relevant to the Atlas, in line with their abilities and in accordance with applicable confidentiality requirements
  • Invite other stakeholders to provide relevant expertise, staff, and other assistance in support of the Atlas


  • Work with the IRENA Renewable Costing Alliance to confidentially share real-world project cost data among governments, utilities, companies, and other data holders so as to establish a clear reference point for the commercial attractiveness of renewable energy in the Indian Ocean region and provide the basis for analysis of cost reduction opportunities in the future


  • Encourage and organise relevant national and international stakeholders to augment the International Renewable Energy Learning Platform (IRELP) through listing of renewable energy education and training opportunities in the Indian Ocean region
  • Invite relevant national stakeholders to participate in IRELP’s online Curriculum Development Forum, with the aim to identify emerging renewable energy skill needs and develop targeted educational programmes within IORA member states


  • Identify and document cost-effective opportunities for renewable energy to support sustainable tourism and associated economic growth in remote locations and islands in all countries of the region, in cooperation with IRENA’s Global Renewable Energy Islands Network (GREIN)

The ministers further agreed to develop and implement an action plan in cooperation with the IORA and IRENA Secretariats for these activities. Progress in this regard was reported to the meetings of the IORA Committee of Senior Officials and Council of Ministers in 2014.