Nairobi Convention Engagement in South Africa

Demonstration Projects

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

WIOSAP Demonstration Projects

Improvement of ecosystem health and water quality by implementing a Source to Sea based approach to tackle marine litter in five priority river systems in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Marine litter—and its effects on marine life, beaches, and fisheries – has become a pressing issue for South Africa. The proponents underscore that the country has grown increasingly concerned about beach litter originating from river systems upstream. The project will demonstrate how a ‘Source to Sea’ approach in five river systems in KwaZulu-Natal, can reduce litter generation and recover litter with river basin-wide interventions. Under the project, targeted rivers will be mapped, collection points for the community and private sector identified, and litter recovery and recycling initiatives launched. The interventions will be studied to evaluate how they can be applied to other South African coastal areas.

Proponents: Department of Environmental Affairs and partners.  

Improvements in Marine Water Quality through enhanced Estuarine Management

Estuaries, productive ecosystems with economic, aesthetic, and recreational value, are under increased threat from upstream pollution in South Africa. This project seeks to ensure that marine water quality in the Swartkops and Buffalo River estuaries is “fit for use” for different users (marine aquaculture, seafood processing plants, recreational and tourism, and conservation). The project plans to investigate the causes and impacts of impaired water quality in the estuaries so that it can develop or improve water quality indicators, standards and guidelines. The project will also improve capacity to reduce pollution at its source and monitor, collect, and analyze water quality data.

Proponents: Walter Sisulu University, Nelson Mandela University, DEA, Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs, and partners. 

For more on the WIOSAP demonstration projects, click here. 

SAPPHIRE Demonstration Projects

Support for a coordinated ocean and coastal ecosystem management approach in South Africa

In partnership with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, Fisheries and Forestry (DEFF), Nairobi Convention’s SAPPHIRE project, will develop three local marine and coastal development plans in three areas: the Ethekwini Metropolitan Municipality, the King Cetshwayo District Municipality, and the Umkhyakude District Muninipality. These three plans will help in the piloting of a comprehensive framework and strategy for the coordination and integration of coastal and marine spatial planning. 

During this demonstration project implementation period, identification of gaps, challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the integrated plan will be carried out, and the expected results should contribute to the broader implementation of South Africa´s Marine Spatial Planning Framework.  

Project Proponents: The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) 

National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analyses

In executing the SAPPHIRE project, the Nairobi Convention has initiated the updating of the South Africa’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).

The MEDA updating process for South Africa is progressing well. 

South Africa’s Chapter in the Marine Protected Areas Outlook

The world, including South Africa, 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 South Africa, as they strive to achieve SDG 14.5. 

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