The Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of Coastal and Marine Environment of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) provides a legal framework through which the Contracting Parties address critical national and trans boundary issues, share experiences as well as create opportunities for sustained socio-economic growth. The Contracting Parties to the Nairobi Convention are: Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and the Republic of Tanzania.
The Nairobi Convention was adopted in 1985 together with its two protocols: the Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region; and the Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Marine Pollution in Cases of Emergency in the Eastern African Region. In 2010, the Nairobi Convention was revised and the Protocol for the Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Western Indian Ocean from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBSA) was adopted. A fourth protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Western Indian Ocean region is currently under development.
Priorities for the Programme of Work for the Nairobi Convention are: Integrated Ecosystem-based Management of marine and coastal ecosystems including trans-boundary resources; Assessments and capacity building on the valuation of coastal and marine ecosystems to contribute to regional and global assessments; Adaptation to climate change to reduce vulnerability and build resilience; and Environmental governance to strengthen regional instruments for intergovernmental dialogue and the development of policies and laws for trans-boundary ecosystems.
The Nairobi Convention’s Work Programme is implemented through a Programme Coordination Office at United Nations Environment Programme headquarters, a Bureau, which is currently chaired by the Seychelles, and a network of focal points from each of the Contracting Parties. The Nairobi Convention Secretariat also convenes a Conference of Contracting Parties (COP) every two years to review the implementation of the COP decisions; and for guidance to the Secretariat and its Bureau on Work Programme activities.
One of the projects of Nairobi Convention Secretariat is the Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the protection of the Western Indian Ocean from land-based sources and activities (WIOSAP). The WIOSAP project is designed to reduce impacts from land-based sources and activities and sustainably manage critical habitats through the implementation of agreed priorities on problem areas including physical alteration and destruction of habitats; water and sediment quality deterioration due to pollution; and alteration in freshwater flows and sediment loads from rivers at the national and regional levels. The WIOSAP project will be implemented and executed through a partnership approach and will compliment other ongoing and upcoming projects in the region, including the Western Indian Ocean Strategic Action Programme on Policy Harmonisation and Institutional Reforms (SAPPHIRE) project.
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