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WIO Regional State of the Coast Report

The Contracting Parties to the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Western Indian Ocean, in their Seventh Conference of Parties held in Maputo, Mozambique in December 2012, requested the Secretariat to facilitate and organize regional meetings of experts for the purpose of exchanging and consolidating information that will lead to a State of the Coast Report for the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region (decision CP7/15 of 2012). The WIO State of the coast report will contribute to the United Nations Regular Process on preparation of the first integrated World Oceans Assessment report. The exercise is also in accordance with Article 18 (1d) of the Nairobi Convention.

The main objectives of the report are:

i) Provide a comprehensive baseline on the status of coastal and marine environment in the WIO region. For this purpose, the report will use citation and references from 2005 onwards. Older documents will only be used if they are necessary to show trends of over the 20-year period and more.

ii) Highlight main opportunities of coastal and marine resources. The Report will highlight various opportunities provided by coastal and marine resources of the WIO region, in sustaining development and livelihood of coastal communities and countries of the region as a whole.

iii) Describe successes and challenges faced in management of coastal and marine resources. The report will highlight current challenges and driving forces that are undermining integrity of coastal and marine environment and livelihoods of people who depended on them. The report will also describe progress that has been and continued to be made at both national and regional levels in addressing the main challenges

iv) Identify main capacity building needs. The report will identify capacity gaps in research, management and policy development and implementation.

v) Identify main knowledge gaps. Each chapter will not only synthesise information from different sources on what is known, but also identify priority knowledge gaps that may be affecting the performance of strategies adopted to address environmental challenges. Information on knowledge gaps could inspire the development of research proposals to address them.

vi) Propose policy options for effective management of coastal and marine resources. Policy options proposed shall be solution-oriented and transformative enough to stand a chance of successfully addressing the environmental issues currently facing the region. This objective on policy options will also include the work on scenarios that will explore possible future opportunities to be pursued under different policy options at national and regional levels.


In this initiative, WIOMSA is coordinating it on behalf of the Nairobi Convention. The UNEP through its Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) is providing technical and financial support. The process has started with the engagement of prominent experts from the region as authors.