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The Convention

Introduction

The Nairobi Convention provides a mechanism for regional cooperation, coordination and collaborative actions, and enables the Contracting

 

Nairobi Convention area: Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and the Republic of South Africa.

Parties to harness resources and expertise from a wide range of stakeholders and interest groups towards solving interlinked problems of the coastal and marine environment.

The Nairobi Convention plays a coordinating role in the implementatioimplementation of a series of intervention projects developed under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) environment initiative. The aim is to stem any further degradation of the marine environment and to reverse the degradation and destruction of critical habitats.

The Nairobi Convention is an important platform for dialogue between Governments and the civil society at the regional and national level. Partnerships between the Nairobi Convention and regional non-governmental organizations such as The World Conservation Union (IUCN) and Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) have encouraged government focal points to work together with NGOs to share expertise and experience with an aim of stemming the multitude of problems associated with unplanned urbanization and poor regulatory regimes.

The Convention offers a legal framework and coordinates the efforts of the countries of the region to plan and develop programmes that strengthen their capacity to protect, manage and develop their coastal and marine environment sustainably.

It also provides a forum for inter-governmental discussions that lead to better understanding of regional environmental problems and the strategies needed to address them; develops and implements regional programmes and projects that address critical national and transboundary issues; and promotes sharing of information and experiences in the WIO region and with the rest of the world.

The Nairobi Convention is a partnership Convention. It recognizes the success in the protection, management and development of the coastal and marine environment of the WIO region will depend on effective partnerships built on strategic linkages between governments, NGOs and the private sector.

The Nairobi Convention covers countries that are rich in biodiversity and natural resources. Most of the marine and coastal ecosystems are transboundary in nature and the impacts from human activities often extend across national boundaries. The work Programme for the Nairobi Convention 2008-2012 will promote an ecosystem-based, multi-sector approach in policy and management, taking into consideration, whole systems rather than individual components and focusing on systems integrity.

An ecosystems approach to manage marine and coastal resources addresses the interconnectedness between land-based activities, fresh water systems and coastal and marine environments. The approach recognizes the effect of the environment on the resource being exploited and the effect of resource exploitation on the environment. This approach ensures that there is a balance between sustainable use and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of marine and coastal resources over time.

The two major ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, i.e. the Agulhas and Somalia Current Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), contain important critical habitats such as sea grass beds, coral reefs and mangrove forests. These habitats are areas of high diversity and are critical fish spawning and nursery areas that provide other vital ecological services, such as shoreline shelter from ocean swells.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF), with the support of the Contracting Parties to the Nairobi Convention and their development partners, have embraced the ecosystems approach and are investing over $78 million, between 2004 and 2012, to support LME projects in the Western Indian Ocean.

The three main projects include;

  1. The South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Project (SWIOPF; Budget- $35.67 million), implemented by The World Bank ;
  2. The Agulhas and Somalia Current Large Marine Ecosystem project (Budget - $31.186 million), implemented by UNDP;
  3. Project addressing land-based activities in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO-LaB; Budget-,$11.413 million implemented by UNEP.


Background

The Nairobi Convention Secretariat held the Conference of Plenipotentiaries and the Sixth Conference of Parties (COP6) to the Nairobi Convention at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters at Gigiri in Nairobi Kenya, from 29 March to 1 April 2010, which considered and adopted two new legal instruments namely;

1. Amended Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Western Indian Ocean.

Year Adopted : 31 March, 2010, Nairobi, Kenya

Parties: Comoros, France, Kenya, Republic of Mauritius, Mozambique, Republic of Seychelles, Somalia and the United Republic of Tanzania.

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2. Protocol for the Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Western Indian Ocean from Land-Based Sources and Activities

Year adopted: Nairobi, 31 March, 2010

Parties: Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Republic of Mauritius, Mozambique, Republic of Seychelles, Somalia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of South Africa

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The Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region was convened by the Executive Director of UNEP at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi from 17 to 21 June 1985. The conference adopted, as a result of its deliberations, the Final Act of the conference, which includes:

1. Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region;

Year adopted: Nairobi, 21 June 1985

Year entered into force: 30 May 1996

Parties: Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of South Africa

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2. The Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region;
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3. Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region

Year adopted: Nairobi, 21 June 1985

Year entered into force: 30 May 1996

Parties: Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of South Africa

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4. Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Marine Pollution in Cases of Emergency in the Eastern African Region

Year adopted: 1985

Year entered into force: 30 May 1996

Parties: Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of South Africa.

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