Draft of 23 June 2000
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The coral reefs in the Eastern African region are increasingly threatened by a number of factors, including destructive fishing methods, sewage and industrial waste. These factors, together with the coral bleaching event of 1998, have put coral reefs in the region at significant risk. The coastal population, which is growing at a rate of 5 percent annually, exerts heavy pressure on coastal and marine habitats and resources. The capacity to manage the coastal and marine environment has been unable to keep up with the increasing pressure of rapid urbanization, human-induced stresses and the prevailing poverty and high demand for subsistence resource use.
In 1996 the ICRI Regional Workshop for Eastern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean in Mahé, Seychelles identified and ranked the following main threats to coral reefs in the region:
- Over-fishing and destructive fishing
The legal framework for this RSP is the Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region (the Nairobi Convention). The Nairobi Convention is executed primarily through national and regional institutions with support from international NGOs and UN agencies. A joint secretariat for programming and implementation of the Nairobi and Abidjan (West and Central African) Conventions has recently been established in Nairobi as part of UNEP's programme to strengthen and revitalize both Conventions. With support from the coordinating units, the joint secretariat will help build synergy between the numerous projects and programmes that are ongoing in the regions. The secretariat will also act as the clearinghouse for documentation and dissemination of information.
A Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) was established in the Seychelles in 1997. The RCU's role is to oversee implementation of the Eastern African regional work programme and maintain a network of national focal points designated by each participating government to work with the Secretariat. A Bureau, elected by the member states for a period of two years, supports the Coordinating Unit and the Secretariat. The work programme for the Nairobi Convention is coordinated by the vice chair of the Bureau, who was elected in his capacity as the chair of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Scientists Association (WIOMSA). WIOMSA is a non-governmental and non-profit making regional organization with a membership of 500 scientist and coastal managers. WIOMSA is now the accepted Regional Activity Centre (RAC) to provide its expertise, human resources and support in the implementation of the regional programmes, including the ICRAN project. A Memoranda of Understanding for the formal establishment of WIOMSA as a Regional Activity Centre is currently under negotiation between the RCU and the Institute of Marine Science of the University of Dar-es-Salaam, the host of WIOMSA.
UNEP EAF/RCU together with its regional partners will draw on the expertise in the region, and involve UN agencies in development and implementation of the ICRAN work plan. In the ICRAN Start-up Phase, FAO has provided coordination for the activities in Eastern Africa. The project will benefit from the FAO expertise in developing inshore fisheries management.
Based on the Start-up Phase activities, the following priorities have been identified for implementation during the Action Phase:
1. Establishment and development of demonstration sites for the regional network of ICM and MPA demonstration. The selection will be based on a thorough analysis of MPAs and ICM sites undertaken in the start-up phase of ICRAN. Two workshops with stakeholders from the mainland coast and within the Western Indian Ocean Island states will ensure stakeholder participation in the selection of sites.
2. Support to management of the demonstration sites. Within each of the selected demonstration sites, management will be strengthened, for example management plans may need to be revised and implemented in consultation with stakeholders, and the capacity of the site to receive visitors for demonstrations will be enhanced.
3. Sustainable training of MPA managers in cooperation with the Coastal Zone Management Center (CZMC) of the Netherlands. Regional and national training of trainers will occur with subsequent emphasis on local training seminars to enhance the capacity in managing coral reefs and other coastal resources.
4. Development of a network of MPA managers. Development of a peer network of MPA managers and ICM practitioners to support management and to provide advice and exchange of experiences in the region. Communication facilities will be needed to establish and get the regional network of MPA managers operational, as well as enhancing and coordinating databases on relevant information to help address MPA management.
5. Establishment of a database of MPAs within the Region will aid communication and consideration of additional sites to qualify for Network expansion over time. The database will build on the Eastern African Coastal Atlas and Database developed by UNEP, the IUCN global database managed by WCMC and the MPA database held in ReefBase.
6. Coral reef monitoring methods and existing programs will be evaluated and standardized throughout the Region to allow for meaningful comparisons between coral reefs and each of the demonstration sites.
7. Launch a long term monitoring programme and a regional network of coral reef experts. The network will continuously review information and data on the status of coral reefs and associated ecosystems in close cooperation with the GCRMN. Monitoring of coral reefs from high diversity areas, especially those under threat, will have highest priority.
8. Development of socio-economic support and alternative income generation. Targeted socio-economic support and pilot alternative income generation in selected demonstration sites with support by an expert for the initial 18 months.
9. Promotion of sustainable financing mechanisms for MPAs. Promoting more sustainable revenue generation mechanisms, such as user fees, concessions and sales in and around demonstration sites and other MPAs.
10. Development of Regional Guidelines for Establishment and Management of MPAs based on the IUCN global guidelines. This activity will be conducted in cooperation with IUCN.
The activities have been selected to fit with the regional priorities identified by each of the member nations at the COP Meeting of the Nairobi Convention and by regional experts at the ICRI Regional Workshop. At mid-term a regional meeting will be held to review progress and recommend improvements.
A set of potential ICRAN demonstration sites has been identified for this region. The final selection of these sites will be made through regional workshops held at the beginning of the Action Phase. The Regional Coordinating Unit working closely with Western Indian Ocean Marine Scientists Association (WIOMSA) and the Institute of Marine Science of the University of Dar es Salaam will organize Regional Workshops to set regional priorities and select demonstration sites.
The regional workshops will bring together representatives from governments of the countries of the region, regional NGOs and organizations, national institutions as well as UN agencies operating in the region. The regional workshops will review the national reports and the regional guidelines and recommendations developed during the start-up phase and regional priorities further elaborated.
The regional workshops will also ensure
that the criteria for selection of demonstration sites are adapted to the
specific needs of each country of the Eastern African Region, and that
each of the sites take into account the range of stressors, stakeholders
involved, and the different cultures and languages. Also, a regional meeting
for potential donors will be held to solicit co-financing for activities
of the regional work plan. UNEP will involve the UNDP Resident Representatives
in the development of fund raising arrangements for the regional activities.
8 Participating Countries: Comoros, France (La Reunion), Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia and the United Republic of Tanzania. South Africa has been invited to join the Nairobi Convention and related Protocols