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Regional Partnership for Implementing SDG14 in the Western Indian Ocean
by Secretariat of the Nairobi Convention for the development, protection and management of the coastal and marine environment of the Western Indian Ocean (United Nations entity)
The Regional State of the Coast Report for the Western Indian Ocean region provides a comprehensive synthesis and insights into the enormous economic potential of the region and the consequential demand for marine ecosystem goods and services to match the increasing human population, the pace and scale of environmental changes taking place in the region and the opportunities to avoid serious degradation in one of the worlds unique and highly biodiverse oceans.

Under the Nairobi Convention, governments, civil society, scientific community and the private sector are working together for a prosperous Western Indian Ocean with healthy rivers, coasts and oceans. The Convention pursues this vision by providing a mechanism for regional cooperation, coordination and collaborative actions and by engaging countries into actions to protect their shared marine environment.

The region faces threats of increasing demand for resources, overfishing, pollution from offshore and land-based activities, biodiversity and habitat loss. Other challenges include urban development of coasts, impacts of climate change along the densely populated coasts, ocean acidification, warming of the ocean, along with inadequate stewardship and law enforcement.

The 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. There still remains institutional, governance and financing impediments that are beyond the ability of the Western Indian Ocean countries to address. The challenges require concerted international support to secure sources of long-term financing for the investments needed by these countries to transform to integrated, coastal and maritime sources of production, employment and growth. Unfilled sectoral financing gaps, include protecting and conserving ocean resources and ecosystems, fisheries, aquaculture, promoting food security and increasing sustainable productivity in marine food systems, sustainable tourism, coastal and maritime transport, ocean renewable energy, marine bioprospecting, protection and management of habitats, water supply and infrastructure, as well as other new ocean economy activities and sectors.

The overall aim of the partnership is to reduce marine pollution, demonstrate and enhance ocean governance and sustainably manage critical coastal and marine ecosystems for a prosperous Western Indian Ocean. The partnership will directly contribute to the implementation of specific targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14.

1.Implementation of the strategic action programme in the Western Indian Ocean to reduce impacts from land-based sources and activities and sustainably manage critical coastal and marine ecosystems through implementation of the agreed priorities
2.Implementation of the Western Indian Ocean strategic action programme on policy harmonization and institutional reforms towards improved ocean governance
3.Collaborative management of marine and coastal resources in the oil and gas rich Northern Mozambique Channel
4.Demonstrating innovative ocean governance mechanisms and delivering best practices and lessons for extended continental shelf management within the Western Indian Ocean Large Marine Ecosystems

Implementation methodologies:
The partnership will implement a number of priority activities through an organized implementation structure with specific roles and responsibilities of each partner in order to achieve the targeted milestones within agreed timelines. Use will be made of tested standard tools, templates and procedures leaning on international best practice.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Nutrient sinks (e.g. constructed wetlands)
  • Plastics product bans or restrictions
  • Reduce invasive aquatic species introduction
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
  • Economic benefits from marine renewable energy
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
December 2020
Collaborative management of marine and coastal resources in the Northern Mozambique Channel
June 2022
Reduced impacts from land-based sources and activities and sustainably managed critical coastal and marine ecosystems
March 2020
Innovative ocean governance mechanisms for the extended continental shelf management of the Mascarene Plateau
March 2022
Policy harmonization and management reforms for improved ocean governance
In-kind contribution
Collaborative management of marine and coastal resources in the Northern Mozambique Channel. co-finance of US$ 1,817,698
In-kind contribution
Innovative ocean governance mechanisms for the extended continental shelf management of the Mascarene Plateau. co-finance of US$ 15.6 million
In-kind contribution
Policy harmonization and management reforms for improved ocean governance. Co-financing of US$ 317,799,494
In-kind contribution
Reduced impacts from land-based sources and activities and sustainably managed critical coastal and marine ecosystems. Co-finance of US$ 78,620,741
Basic information
Time-frame: April 2017 - December 2022
Contracting Parties of the Nairobi Convention - Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and South Africa (Governments) UN Environment (Intergovernmental Organization) Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) (Intergovernmental Organization) Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) (Scientific community) Birdlife International (non-governmental organization) World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) (non-governmental organization) International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (non-governmental organization) Consortium for the Conservation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO-C) (non-governmental organization) GRID-Arendal (collaborating centre) UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) (Intergovernmental Organization) German Development Cooperation (Government) Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) (Scientific Community) Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) (Scientific Community)
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Dixon Waruinge, Head of the Nairobi Convention Secretariat, Dixon.waruinge@unep.org, +254 20 762 2025
Nairobi, Kenya
Other SDGs
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