Regional State of the coast Report Western Indian Ocean

Publication Abstract: 

The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region spans across a large latitudinal range, from the Somalia region, influenced by the strong monsoon regime of the northern Indian Ocean,to the southern temperate regime of the tip of
South Africa, where the Agulhas current diverges from the northward moving Atlantic Benguela current. It encompasses  tropical and subtropical regions of diverse nature,
rich stretches of coast along the mainland countries of Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa, and vast oceanic areas surrounding the island states of
Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius and French Territories. Geomorphological and oceanographic features define the character of the WIO. The social tissue of the of
the WIO, where much of the population lives at the coast, is an amalgam of diverse populations with different origins, a product of the rich and varied political history, where networks
of trade interactions have generated a high ethnic and cultural diversity. The cultural heritage is thus important and matches the natural richness of the region. Most
countries in the WIO have high population growth rates, and coastal development is expected to grow accordingly.
The Regional State of the Coast Report (RSOCR) derives from requirements of the Nairobi Convention and contributes to the United Nations-led production of the
World Ocean Assessment (WOA) reports as well as to other global and regional processes, such as the Environment Outlooks coordinated by UNEP. The RSOCR aims to integrate
the socio-economic and ecological systems of the WIO region by using a uniform methodology based on the Opportunities Framework and the DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures,
Status, Impacts, Responses) approach. The RSOCR’s approach has been adapted from the WOA framework, however the content and organization of the concluding
chapters are based on the distinct needs of the WIO region.
While the political agenda included the Contracting Parties and their National Focal Points to the Nairobi Convention, the technical process was guided by WIOMSA
(Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association) and involved a representative set of scientists with broad experience in the region. The RSOCR’s main objectives are to
i) provide a comprehensive baseline,

ii) highlight main opportunities,

iii) describe successes and challenges,

iv)identify capacity building needs,

v) identify knowledge gaps,

vi) propose policy options.

Quick Access of the Region State of Coast in the Western Indian Ocean Region

Chapter I – Summary

Chapter 2 Planet: Oceans and Life

Chapter 3 Introduction – Biodiversity

Chapter 4 Beaches and the Nearshore

Chapter 5 Mangroves, Salt Marshes and Seagrass Beds

Chapter 6 Coral and Biogenic Reef Habitats

Chapter 7 Intertidal and Nearshore Rocky Reefs

Chapter 8 Shelf Sediments and Biodiversity

Chapter 9 Deep sea and Offshore/Pelagic Habitats

Chapter 10 Threatened Marine Species

Chapter 11 Significant Social and Economic Aspects of Biodiversity Conservation

Chapter 12 Summary on Marine Biological Diversity

Chapter 13 Scientific Understanding of Ecosystem

Chapter 14 The Oceans’ Role in the Hydrological Cycle

Chapter 15 Sea/Air Interaction

Chapter 16 Phytoplankton Primary Production

Chapter 17 Ocean-sourced Carbonate Production

Chapter 18 Aesthetic, Cultural and Spiritual Services from Coastal and Marine Environments

Chapter 19 Summary on Major Ecosystem Services

Chapter 20 The Western Indian Ocean as a Source of Food

Chapter 21 Capture Fisheries

Chapter 22 Mariculture

Chapter 23 Social and Economic Impacts of Capture Fisheries and Mariculture

Chapter 24 Summary of Food Security from Marine Resources

Chapter 25 Maritime Activities

Chapter 26 Oil, Gas and Renewable Energy

Chapter 27 Coastal Mining and its Influence on Coastline Stability

Chapter 28 Tourism and Recreation

Chapter 29 Urbanisation, Coastal Development and Vulnerability, and Catchments

Chapter 30 Marine Genetic Resources and Bioprospecting in the Western Indian Ocean

Chapter 31 Summary of Other Human Activities in the Coastal and Marine Environment

Chapter 32 Scenarios: WIO Coastal and Marine Environmental Futures

Chapter 33 Governance: Legal and Institutional Frameworks

Chapter 34 Policy Analysis and Options

Chapter 35  Coastal and Marine Research and Capacity Building

Chapter 36 Overall Assessment of the State of the Coast in the Western Indian Ocean








Jared Bosire, Louis Celliers, Johan Groeneveld, José Paula, Michael H. Schleyer

Year of publication: 
Publication File(s):
Focal Area: 
Climate change
Chemicals and waste
Ecosystems management
Environment under review
United Republic of Tanzania
Republic of South Africa