Sustainable Management of shallow marine habitats in the Comoros through improved management planning and rehabilitation of degraded sites
To strengthen the management of critical shallow marine habitats in the Comoros through three main approaches: (i) the preparation of site management plans for four formally designated MPA sites, (ii) the rehabilitation of degraded mangrove and seagrass habitats and (iii) engagement of the local communities in environmental conservation.
Specific Objectives of Project:
Objective 1: To develop site management plans, inclusive of spatial zoning designs, for the four MPAs completed and approved by the General Directorate of Environment and Forest.
Objective 2: To restore 1 ha of mangrove and 1 ha of seagrass ecosystems through community involvement
Objective 3: To enhance capacities (capacity building/enhancement) of local communities in environmental conservation
Objective 4: To prepare and disseminate at least five different types of education and awareness materials focused on the National Parks of the Comoros, shallow marine habitats of Comoros and on the rehabilitation of marine ecosystems.
The Comoros archipelago has a high level of biodiversity and endemism. However, uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources is putting the unique environment of these islands under immense stress. One of the strategies that have been chosen to protect habitats and conserve biodiversity is the designation of protected areas. The Comoros currently has one marine protected area and there are plans to designate an additional three, largely marine, sites before the end of 2021. For these sites to play their intended role in biodiversity conservation, they will need to implement conservation management measures defined in well-articulated conservation management plans. Degraded habitats will also have to be rehabilitated so that they can regain their full ecological functionality. The aim of this project is to strengthen the management of critical shallow marine habitats in the Comoros. To achieve this, three main approaches will be adopted: i) the preparation of conservation management plans for four (one existing and three future) MPA sites, ii) the rehabilitation of degraded mangrove and seagrass habitats in one MPA site and ii) the engagement of the local communities in environmental conservation. The project will contribute to the implementation of the Comoros National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation (2001). It will be implemented through partnership between government institutions, NGOs and local communities.