Back in 1985, when the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) was still pristine, already leaders of the region together with a number of partners had the foresight to create a mechanism for regional cooperation, coordination and collaborative actions to enable better management of their shared marine space. This coming together was an important step in getting countries of the region to address common priorities through a mechanism that was legally binding with the aim of achieving long term sustainable measures.
The United Nations Environment Programme hosted the 1985 conference of plenipotentiaries for the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of Coastal and Marine Environment of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region had a great vision of a prosperous Western Indian Ocean region with healthy rivers, coasts and oceans. To realise the vision, the Convention aimed at increasing the capacity of the Western Indian Ocean nations to protect, manage, and develop their coastal and marine environment.
Member States and Parties to the Nairobi Convention undertake the implementation and enforcement of priority activities identified in the Nairobi Convention as well as Decisions made at the Conference of Parties (COP), both nationally and regionally. Each Member State or party has an obligation to designate an appropriate government authority known as the National Focal Point (NFP) for the purpose of communications with the Secretariat as well as for monitoring the national implementation of the Convention.