United Nations
The Western Indian Ocean Large Marine Ecosystems Strategic Action Programme Policy Harmonisation and Institutional Reforms (WIO LME SAPPHIRE)
by United Nations Development Programme (United Nations entity)
The overall objectives is to achieve effective long-term ecosystem management in the Western Indian Ocean LMEs in line with the Strategic Action Programme as endorsed by the participating countries. The project is expected to catalyze policy harmonisation and institutional reforms at both national and regional levels so that the countries will jointly and effectively improve the ecosystem health of the offshore waters.

The Strategic Action Programme for the sustainable management of the Western Indian Ocean Large Marine Ecosystems (WIO LME SAP) calls for joint actions by all 9 Western Indian Ocean countries on the following areas: 1) Ecosystem Assessment and Monitoring, 2) Science Based-Governance and Adaptive Management, 3) Community engagement in Stress Reduction, 4) Private Sector engagement in Stress Reduction and 5) Capacity building and training.

WIO LME SAPPHIRE project will support the countries to take actions on all those areas so that they will make progress on the WIO LME SAP implementation.
Progress reports
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
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
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
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
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
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
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
June 2022
Private Sector engagement in ecosystem monitoring and associated stress reduction activities, and a selected Private Sector partners integrated the ecosystem approach into their daily activities to reduce their footprint on the coastal and marine ecosystem
June 2022
Selected ocean policy implementation supported in the region with emphasis on marine spatial planning, intersectoral cooperation, adoption of a blue ocean economy approach, innovative management mechanisms
June 2022
Capacity for improved Ocean Governance strengthened through training and support
June 2022
Environmental stress caused by artisanal and subsistence fisheries reduced through their adopting to ecosystem-based practices
In-kind contribution
Financing (in USD)
8,766,500 USD
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 July - 2022 December
Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, and Tanzania, Nairobi Convention, UN Environment, Global Environment Facility
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Nairobi Convention
Contact information
Akiko Yamamoto, Regional Technical Advisor for Water and Ocean Governance, akiko.yamamoto@undp.org, +251912503316
Other SDGs
United Nations