Nairobi Convention Engagement in Kenya

Demonstration Projects

In executing its projects, the Nairobi Convention is collaborating with governments and other stakeholders to implement the following demonstration projects in Kenya: 

WIOSAP Demonstration Projects

Enhancing stakeholder capacity on use of ICZM as a tool for conservation of the coastal and marine environment through a demo ICZM Project in Malindi – Sabaki Estuary Area

New infrastructure and developments have dramatically altered Kenya’s coast over the past decade, leading to improved local livelihoods. However, increased use of marine and coastal resources by various sectors has led to over-exploitation, erosion, pollution, and uncontrolled development. Implementing Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), a tool that brings all stakeholders together to develop, manage, and use the coastal zone, would ensure that future development in the Malindi-Sabaki Estuary Area is sustainable and protective of the environment.  

This project aims to enhance local authorities’ capacity to implement ICZM by promoting an integrated approach to resource management. Expected outcomes include improved mangrove and fisheries management; alternative livelihood options for the local community; and improved solid waste management, among others.

Proponents: NEMA, Kilifi County government, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Fisheries Service, Water Resources Authority, and Nature Kenya. 


Towards Integrated Spatial Planning for Sustainable Management of Coastal and Marine Resources in Kilifi County, Kenya

Kenya’s coastal and marine resources provide numerous benefits to coastal communities, including food, employment, protection from climate change, and more. However, inclusive planning. development, and management of resources is imperative to ensure that these benefits can be enjoyed by future generations of Kenyans. This project seeks to support the development of a Kilifi County Spatial Plan, which would define sustainable land usage; support socio-economic development; ensure environmental sustainability, and provide strategies to deal with urbanization, transportation, agricultural expansion, and other threats. In addition to supporting the development of the plan, the project would also establish a GIS lab for integrated data management and identify at least one critical Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSA) in Kilifi. 

Proponents: Worldwide Fund for Nature, Kenya, Kilifi County Government, and NEMA. 

Improving Mtwapa Creek water quality by use of Constructed Wetland technology for wastewater treatment model in Shimo la Tewa Prison

Discharge of domestic, industrial and agricultural wastes into marine and freshwater ecosystems causes deterioration of water and sediment quality, thus compromising the marine resources used to spur national development and improve community livelihoods. Shimo la Tewa prison is located near Mtwapa Creek, housing over 4,000 prisoners. Wastewater from the prison is only partially treated before being discharged into the creek, thereby polluting the marine environment and negatively affecting surrounding communities dependent on the creek for their livelihoods. A redesigned and rehabilitated wastewater treatment system is thus needed to conserve the creek’s marine resources.  

The project aims to use a constructed wetland to demonstrate how “green infrastructure” can be used as a cost-effective way to manage wastewater, a technology which can be replicated nationally and regionally. The wetland will directly improve Mtwapa Creek’s water quality and sanitation in Shimo la Tewa. Food security will also be enhanced, as the treated water will be used for fish and crop production. 

Proponents: Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, NEMA, Shimo la Tewa prison, and GreenWater 

 For more on the WIOSAP demonstration projects, click here.  

SAPPHIRE Demonstration Projects

Climate-Smart Design for Diani-Chale Marine Ecosystem management and Improved Livelihoods for Coastal Communities

Since the establishment of the Diani-Chale Marine Reserve, the Kenya Wildlife Service has unsuccessfully attempted to establish a Marine Protected Area due to mistrust and conflicting interests between the local community and the government. 

 For more on the SAPPHIRE demonstration projects, click here.

National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analyses

In executing the SAPPHIRE project, the Nairobi Convention has initiated the updating of the Kenya’s MEDA and the Transboundary Diagnosis Analyses (TDAs), developed under the ASCLME project. The MEDAs will provide each country with an updated assessment of their ecosystems within their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and also provide them with a baseline document upon which they can base their National Action Plans (NAP) for the sustainable management of marine resources.  

Moreover, the scope of the MEDAs will be expanded to include assessments of land-based sources of pollution—i.e. issues addressed by SAPPHIRE’s sister project, WIOSAP –meaning that countries will have their first-ever “Ridge to Reef” assessment of their marine ecosystems. The findings will be fed into an expanded regional Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis and prioritize areas of concern that can be addressed through a merged Strategic Action Programme (SAP). 

Blue Economy Study in Kenya

The SAPPHIRE project is supporting the Government of Kenya, through the University of Nairobi, to take stock of activities in the blue economy with the aim of identifying priority maritime sectors and their values, potential for investment, and governance regimes and policy tools needed to further develop the blue economy in the country. This activity seeks to prioritize key maritime sectors that can help the Government at both national and county levels to provide policy and regulatory direction towards a sustainable blue economy.


This study will contribute to the development of a National Blue Economy Policy

Oceanographic Research and Data Collection in North Kenya

The SAPPHIRE project is supporting oceanographic research led by the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute. The purpose of the research is to collect scientific and local data in the WIO region for archiving. The data will also inform policy and management for sustainable management critical coastal ecosystems and habitats. 

Other Interventions in Kenya

Kenya's Chapter on the Marine Protected Areas Outlook

The world, including Kenya, has committed to protecting at least 10% of its marine and coastal areas by 2020 under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.5. Under the WIOSAP project, the Nairobi Convention and WIOMSA have released the Western Indian Ocean Marine Protected Areas Outlook, the first-ever publication to examine the progress, challenges, and opportunities faced by states in the WIO, including Kenya, as they strive to achieve SDG 14.5. 

Click here for Kenya’ chapter and here for a dashboard outlining Kenya’ progress towards achieving SDG 14.5.