The Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of Coastal and Marine Environment of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region provides a legal framework through which Contracting Parties address critical national and trans-boundary issues, share experiences as well as create opportunities for sustained socio-economic growth. The convention aims to tackle the accelerating degradation of the world’s oceans and coastal areas through the sustainable management and use of the marine and coastal environment. It does this by engaging countries that share the western Indian Ocean in actions to protect their shared marine environment.

Assessments and States of Coasts

The main objective of the activities under this theme is to create better understanding and knowledge of the coastal and marine environment to strengthen linkages between ecosystems assessment and reporting mechanisms for informed planning and decision-making processes. The theme is designed to cover integrated assessment of ecosystems and habitats and associated capacity building. It seeks to assess ecosystems and resources including Environmental Flow Assessments (EFA), land-based activities and sources of pollution. Socio-economic assessment issues include economic valuation of goods and services provided by the marine and coastal environment including enhancing capacity of Contracting Parties to use the true value for decision-making. This is in addition to socioeconomic assessments of the impacts of climate change on vulnerable cities and local communities, and strategic environmental assessments for ports and harbor development and related oil and gas sector.

Coastal Management

The main objective of activities under this theme is the effective management, sustainable use and protection of the marine and coastal environment of the Western Indian Ocean region. This includes development and implementation of ecosystem-based management programmes and activities that seek to reduce or prevent degradation of the coastal and marine environment and strengthen functioning and resilience of marine ecosystems.

Ocean Governance

Ocean governance is about managing and using the world’s oceans and their resources in ways that keep our oceans healthy, productive, safe, secure and resilient. The Nairobi Convention has provided effective leadership in fostering sustainable ocean management through ecosystem-based approaches and has secured greater commitments by States, cooperation of stakeholders and active involvement of the civil society. Under the overarching UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, a plethora of jurisdictional rights, institutions, and specific frameworks have been set up to organize the way humans use these waters.

Information and Awareness

Nairobi Convention provides information in an easily accessible and understandable format to assist in the decision-making processes for the management of the marine and coastal resources, and to raise awareness among the public of the importance of the marine and coastal environment. It focuses on exchange of information with communities, as well as public awareness raising, community empowerment and capacity building. Activities will include: Information management and exchange; Awareness, capacity building and community empowerment; and Increased visibility of the Convention.

The Convention seeks to establish and strengthen the knowledge and data sharing mechanisms and platforms for improved dissemination and enhanced understanding of marine and coastal processes.