National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) - Kenya

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), is established under the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act No. 8 of 1999 (EMCA) as the principlal instrument of Goverment for the implementation of all policies relating to environment . EMCA 1999 was enacted against a backdrop of 78 sectoral laws dealing with various components of the environment, the deteriorating state of Kenya's environment, as well as increasing social and economic inequalities, the combined effect of which negatively impacted on the environment. The supreme objective underlying the enactment of EMCA 1999 was to bring harmony in the management of the country's environment.

Coastal, Marine & Fresh water Sub-Department
This is a sub-department under the Directorate Department and draws its mandate from  Sections 42 & 55 of EMCA that deal specifically with management and conservation of rivers, lakes and wetlands; and coastal and marine environments respectively to address issues of fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems.

The main functions of the sub-department include:
1)  Promoting conservation and sustainable utilization of coastal, marine and freshwater resources (CMF),

2) Implementation of relevant MEAs, and development and implementation of a National Wetlands Policy;

3) Coordinating and harmonize CMF conservation and management activities, including those of lead agencies, the private sector, NGOs and communities;

4) Developing and supervising the implementation of management plans for the sustainable utilization and conservation of the coastal zone and inland aquatic ecosystems through the development of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management plan (ICZM).

5) Collaborating with the relevant partners to ensure monitoring and inventories of aquatic ecosystems to assist in their proper management, and to identify appropriate measures to prevent or minimize pollution;

6) Coordinating the coastal and marine sub-theme under the KCDP Environment Initiative; leading NEMA’s participation in shared aquatic ecosystem processes.

7) Coordination the commemoration of the World Wetlands Day.

EMCA 1999 provides for conservation and management of Kenya’s Coastal, Marine and Freshwater resources Sections 42 & 55 of EMCA deal specifically with management and conservation of rivers, lakes and wetlands; and coastal and marine environments respectively

EMCA Wetlands, Riverbanks, lakeshores and Sea shore regulations protect aquatic resources and their riparian zones and are enforced by PECs and DECs
Other EMCA regulations such as Water Quality and EIA protect aquatic ecosystems through setting of high effluent discharge standards and controlling developments respectively

CMF sub-dept. was therefore formed to promote conservation and sustainable use of Kenya’s Coastal, Marine and Freshwater resources as per EMCA 1999 and NEMA Strategic plan 2008-2012

1.    State of the Coast Report
The State of the Coast Report 2008 is the first of its kind in Kenya. It highlights the status, trends, threats  and impacts to Kenya’s coastal and marine environment. The report has been compiled by a National Task Force constituted by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in 2004.

2.    Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) National Plan of action
The goal of the ICZM Action Plan is to conserve the coastal and marine environment and to ensure that its resources are utilised in a sustainable manner for the benefit of coastal communities and the national economy. Inspired by the need to balance environmental management interests with economic development interests, the ICZM Action Plan is set to foster a coordinated and integrated approach to resource utilization and management for sustainable development.

3.    Shoreline Management strategy
This document outlines a strategy for shoreline management in support of overall coastal zone planning and decision-making. The strategy takes a macro view of Kenya’s shoreline to ensure all issues are identified and national and regional development policies are taken into account.

4.     Draft ICZM Policy
The sub-department has developed a draft ICZM Policy. The policy gives recommendations on the protection of the various coastal ecosystems including Coral Reefs, Mangrove Forests, Coastal Forests, Sea Grass Beds, Deltas and Estuaries, Marine Protected areas, Fisheries, Water Resources, Shoreline changes, Community Issues, Land use and management, Access and Benefit Sharing, Research and Monitoring, Education and Awareness. Once complete, the policy will give recommendations on the institutional arrangements for ensuing integrated approach towards management of coastal and marine resources.

5.    Draft Coastal Pollution Prevention and Control guidelines
Among the major threats that have been identified, facing the coastal and marine environment is pollution, resulting mainly from land-based sources, and to some extent, from marine based activities. Pollution loads come in form of solid waste, sewage, and chemical and effluent discharges into the aquatic environment. Thus, several economic activities carried out within the coastal zone and the associated hinterland catchments, contribute significantly to environmental pollution of the marine ecosystem.

6.    Lake Ol Bolossat Management Plan
Management plan for Lake Ol Bolossat identifies issues and proposes management interventions to tackle the issues. It makes recommendations for Biodiversity and Research, Water Management, Infrastructure development, human wildlife conflict, Forestry and Tourism Management.  The plan also encourages participation of various stakeholders including local communities in management of the Lake. The plan was launched in January 2010.

7.     Lake Jipe Integrated Management Plan
Lake Jipe Management Plan gives a description of the Ecosystem. The overall purpose of the management plan is to guide the sustainable and equitable use of natural resources in the lake Jipe Ecosystem.

9.    The National Wetlands Policy
The sub-department is also spearheading review of the draft National Wetlands Policy. The draft Policy has been approved by the National Environment Council and will be tabled at Cabinet. The Policy gives guidance on management and sustainable use of Kenyan wetlands, as part of the country’s obligations and as a signatory to the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands. The Policy gives guidance on activities that should be carried out near wetlands in order to ensure that wetlands continue performing their critical ecological, hydrological and buffering functions.
Download wetlands policy.

10.    Wetlands Assessment and Monitoring Strategy for Kenya (WAMSK)
Given the vast importance of wetland resources, the department worked with consultants to develop a WAMSK to help enhance and simplify wetland monitoring across the country. WAMSK proposes ease but reliable ways to monitor the health of wetland ecosystems most of which are faced with degradation. The aim of the assessment to help initiate restoration measures.  

Contact details of partner: 

 Popo Road,South C, off Mombasa Road

 P.O.BOX 67839-00200, Nairobi. Kenya

 Mobile: 0724 253398, 0735 013046.

Partner/Stakeholder Category: 
Government & Research Institutions