Policy and governance assessment of coastal and marine resource sectors in Kenya in the framework of large marine ecosystems

Type of content: 
Year Published: 
Topics of the content: 
Geographical Information: 

The Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem (ASCLME) Project is a UNDP/GEF regional project covering nine countries in the Western Indian Ocean which include: Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania all of which following the UNCLOS (1982), have proclaimed their ocean ward extents to the 200 nautical mile limit of their Exclusive Economic Zones. The proclamation gives the countries jurisdictional powers over the governance of the natural resources in these LMEs as provided by UNCLOS (1982). The LMEs are anchored on the Rio 1992 UNCED Declaration (UN 2002) which recommended that Nations:

  • Prevent, reduce and control degradation of the marine environment so as to maintain and improve its life system and productive capabilities.
  • Develop and increase the potential of marine living resources to meet human nutritional needs as well as social, economic and development goals.
  • Promote the integrated management and sustainable development of coastal areas and the marine environment.

Following the 2002 WSSD in Johannesburg (FAO 2008) further recommendations were made to address ecosystem related issues and put targets for plan of action so that:

  • Land based sources of pollution be substantially reduced by 2006.
  • Ecosystem based approach be introduced for practice by 2010.
  • Marine protected areas to have a designated network by 2012.
  • Restoration and sustainability of fisheries to possibly be restored to MSY by 2015.

LMEs are therefore global centres of efforts to reduce coastal pollution, restore damaged habitats (Coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass etc.) and recover depleted fishery stocks (Olsen et al 2006). International collaborating parties in LME are: IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programmes), Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA), Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities (GPA) , UNIDO ( United Nations industrial Development Organization), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization ) Fisheries Division, GEF (The Global Environment Facility). Others are: The World Bank, Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature, GEF LME Projects) and WWF (World Wildlife Fund).

The LME concept covers for transboundary activities that impact on the ocean from land based activities in river basins, coastal waters and offshore deep ocean waters whose limits are defined by extents of ocean currents along the coasts and offshore oceanic waters. All these transboundary activities require integrated adaptive management in ecosystem based approach for Ecological Sustainable Development. It is important to note that the geographical limits of the LMEs do not follow political boundaries hence the importance of regional and international consideration of agreements, treaties and laws in their governance.

Intellectual Property: 
Legal disclaimer statement(s)