The Project entitled ‘Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the protection of the Western Indian Ocean from land-based sources and activities’ (WIO-SAP) is intended ‘to reduce impacts from land-based sources and activities and sustainably manage critical coastal-riverine ecosystems through the implementation of the WIO-SAP priorities with the support of partnerships at national and regional levels’. The project builds on the WIO-LaB Strategic Action Programme (SAP)[1]for the protection of the WIO Region from land-based sources and activities that was developed under the auspices of the UNEP-GEF WIO-LaB project[2] and which identified key actions that need to be undertaken in the region in order to reverse the degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems. The WIO-LaB Project that delivered the SAP was essentially focused on land-based activities and sources of degradation of the coastal and marine environment.

The WIOLAB SAP identified four critical priority areas when it came to reducing land-based sources and activities:

  1. Protecting, restoring and managing critical coastal habitats
  2. Ensuring water quality
  3. Managing river flows wisely
  4. Strengthening governance and awareness

These morphed into the following components under the WIOSAP project: sustainable management of critical habitats; improved water quality; sustainable management of river flows; and governance and regional collaboration.