Find a non-exhaustive list of WIOSAP progress and accomplishments so far below.

1. Project Implementation Structures
  • National Implementation Committees (NIC): Nairobi Convention states have each established an NIC and agreed on their roles, responsibilities and requirements and Terms of References. The NICs provide oversight of WIOSAP’s interventions at the national level and have been active since the project’s inception. Between 2018 and 2019, the NICs reviewed over 60 demonstration projects concepts submitted by proponents. 

    Regional Task Forces (RTFs): Three RTFs (on Sustainable Management of Critical Habitats; Water Quality, and River Flows) have been established to ensure effective regional collaboration, shared learning and quality control of the products to be delivered through WIOSAP.   Prof. Salomao Bandeira (Mozambique) and Dr. Ruby Moothien-Pillay (Mauritius) were selected as the Chair and Deputy-Chair of Critical Habitats RTF, respectively. Dr. Yves Mong was chosen as the Chair, and Dr. Richard Kimwaga (Tanzania) as the Deputy Chair of the Improved Water Quality RTF. Prof. Japhet Kashaigili (Tanzania) was selected as Chair while Dr. Sebastiani Keino Ambinintsoa Roby (Madagascar) was elected as the Deputy Chair of Sustainable Management of River Flows RTF. 

    Working Groups: A technical working group on marine litter and microplastics has been established to provide a forum for sharing and exchanging of information; provide policy guidance and advice to the Nairobi Convention and other regional frameworks; and synthesize information and produce peer-reviewed publications and other products. A technical working group (TWG) on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) held its first meeting in July 2020. This followed a recommendation from the Nairobi Convention Focal Points and other partners at the MSP meeting held in March 2019 in Tanzania on the establishment of an MSP TWG to lead the development of a WIO regional MSP strategy. 

2. Projects

Click through the Story Map below for information on WIOSAP demonstration projects.

3. WIO Ecosystem Guidelines and Toolkit
  • Guidelines and Toolkits 

    The Guidelines (on mangrove restoration, seagrass restoration, and environmental flow assessments) provide step-by-step guides on how to conduct a restoration project or assessment and outline WIO-specific case studies on how various interventions have worked and lessons learnt. A  toolkit on climate change vulnerability assessments has been developed and awaits testing in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar.  An additional guideline on ecosystem valuation will be available soon. 

    Together with the SAPPHIRE project, WIOSAP created a regional ecosystem monitoring framework, to be published in early 2022, that will identify potential ecosystem monitoring indicators and monitoring sites. It will also provide options for a potential framework/programme based on an analysis of current practices, frameworks, including  national and regional capacity. 

    Development of a Sustainable Port Development Toolkit– The WIOSAP project is working with partners to produce policy briefs and a Toolkit for Green Port Development that will contribute to sustainable port development in the WIO region.  

4. WIO Outlooks and Assessments
  • Marine Protected Area (MPA) Outlook and Dashboard 

    This publication, launched in July 2021, examines the current and future status of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at a regional level and provides recommendations and best practices for countries as they seek to achieve the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.  

    Visit the WIO MPA webpage to view the interactive country and regional dashboards and see the progress made by Nairobi Convention states. 

    Critical Habitats Outlook 

    This publication, to be launched in 2022, will outline the state of critical habitats like coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass in the WIO and address their role in climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

    Transboundary Conservation Area Assessment (TBCA) 

    The project will be undertaking an economic valuation of a proposed TBCA between Kenya and Tanzania that will outline the benefits and costs of the TBCA’s establishment. 

5. Science to policy
  • WIOSAP has supported the Nairobi Convention to convene six science-to-policy forums in the region, in recognition of the need for science-based policymaking and adaptive management. Policy recommendations from the 4th and 6th forums contributed to several decisions of the Convention’s 9th and 10th Conference of Parties in 2018 and 2021. The  most recent forum was held in March 2021, where a total of 33 scientific papers were presented with policy and technical recommendations. 

    From the thirty-three papers submitted for the March 2021 science-to-policy platform forum themed “Towards Blue Economy in the Western Indian Ocean”, twenty-nine were compiled into the first volume of the WIO Science to Policy Platform Series through a partnership between the Nairobi Convention and WIOMSA.

    WIOSAP and partners also supported the Africa Regional Consultation for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in January 2020 to ensure the inclusion of the Western Indian Ocean region’s needs and priorities. 

6. Capacity Building
  • Marine Spatial Planning (MSP):  In collaboration with the GEF-funded SAPPHIRE project and other supporting projects of the Nairobi Convention, the WIOSAP project is supporting the development of a Marine Spatial Planning Strategy. The strategy will capture regional experiences and possible pathways on MSP implementation. It could also inform national level actions especially for countries at the early stages of their MSP implementation process. Nelson Mandela University is leading the development of the strategy, working with a Regional MSP Technical Working Group (TWG).  

    WIOSAP also contributed to the launch of the WIO Symphony Tool with SwAM. WIO Symphony is a web-based tool  that supports marine spatial planning in the Western Indian Ocean by assessing environmental impact from human activities. Find out more about the tool and use it here. 

    Monitoring Frameworks being developed in collaboration with the GEF-funded SAPPHIRE project and other Nairobi Convention Secretariat supporting projects include the Integrated Ecosystem Monitoring Framework for the Western Indian Ocean Region, a Water Quality Monitoring Framework and a Regional Framework for Coastal and Marine Water Quality Management, to be released in 2021.The Integrated Ecosystem Monitoring Framework identifies potential ecosystem monitoring indicators and provide options for a potential framework/programme based on an analysis of current practices, frameworks, and national and regional capacity. The Regional Framework for Coastal and Marine Water Quality Management will seek to enhance the proper implementation of existing Convention Protocol dealing with land and sea-based marine pollution. 

    Building impactful leadership for good governance: Between 2017 and 2018, the WIOSAP project held three leadership workshops aimed at building the capacity of senior leaders responsible for overseeing policy and managing environmental resources. 

    Implementation of the Land Based Sources and Activities (LBSA) Protocol Workshop: A workshop in December 2018 helped sensitize governments and other partners in the region on the Protocol, challenges to preventing LBSA, and tools available to support prevention activities. 

    Training on Environmental Flows (Eflows): A training helped participants to share experiences, discuss and appreciate the relevance and mainstreaming of E-Flows in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the region. 

    Training on Constructed Wetland Technology (CWT): Together with KMFRI and WIOMSA, WIOSAP hosted a training to give participants the knowledge and skills to perform basic wetland design and assess existing wetland proposals. 

    Launch of the Western Indian Ocean Mangrove Network (WIOMN) and Restoration Book Project- the Western Indian Ocean Mangrove Network, anchored under the Nairobi Convention, was officially launched in June 2021, and provides a forum for scientists, managers and policy makers to contribute to address challenges in mangrove restoration across the region. The book project will document field lessons, experiences and demonstrate best practices in restoration of mangroves in the Western Indian Ocean region. 

    Launch of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Protected Areas Management Network (WIOMPAN) – Together with WIOMSA, the Nairobi Convention partnered in launching the WIOMPAN in June 2021. The network is a platform for MPA managers, the community and scientists to collaborate, share knowledge and learning, and exchange information, experiences and resources to support the management of MPAs in the western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. 

    Adaptive Management Seminars for Marine Protected Areas – The WIOSAP project organized three seminars on Adaptive Management: Design and effective management of MPA networks, in collaboration with the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) and WIOMSA. The seminars aim to help MPA managers and others to implement recommendations from the MPA Outlook. 

7. Partnership for Project Implementation
  • Regional Economic Communities and Commissions in Western Indian Ocean Region: In April 2019, RECs initiated a collaborative mechanism with WIOSAP (and related projects e.g. SAPPHIRE) and the Convention around blue economy, ocean governance, marine spatial planning, policy harmonization, science to policy, green port development, and marine litter. A core group was established by the RECs to crystalize the mechanism for collaboration, communication interactions and to ensure buy-in of the partnership by Governments and RECs for implementation of the project. In February 2021, GIZ under the Western Indian Ocean Governance Initiative (WIOGI) met with RECs to discuss the development of a Western Indian Ocean Governance Strategy. 

    The project convened a meeting of the Consortium of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO-C) in September 2019 to discuss the opportunities for strengthening support of WIO-C to WIOSAP project and identify complementary interventions for creating synergies for greater impact in WIO region. A follow up meeting was held on April 27 2021, where actors agreed on tasks to take forward.   

    WIOSAP has signed Memorandums of Understanding with a) the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) to further explore green port policies and possibilities in the region and b) with Macquarie University to support the MPA Outlook, MSP strategy, CCVA, Science to Policy Forum and other research proposals. 

8. Promoting the Project
  • WIOSAP has participated in various events and forums highlighting its purpose and different project outcomes

More About WIOSAP Project Progress and Regional Outputs 

As at Nov 2023