The Nairobi Convention

The Nairobi Convention is a partnership between governments, civil society and the private sector, working towards a prosperous Western Indian Ocean Region with healthy rivers, coasts and oceans. It pursues this
vision by providing a mechanism for regional cooperation, coordination and collaborative actions; it enables the Contracting Parties to harness resources and expertise from a wide range of stakeholders and interest
groups; and in this way it helps solve inter-linked problems of the region’s coastal and marine environment.

Brief History on the Nairobi Convention

The Nairobi Convention, which was first signed in 1985 and entered into force in 1996, is part of UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme. The programme aims to address the accelerating degradation of the world’s oceans and coastal areas through the sustainable management and use of the marine and coastal environment. It does this by engaging countries that share the western Indian Ocean in actions to protect their shared marine environment. The Contracting Parties (Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and the Republic of South Africa ) to the Convention are part of more than 143 countries that participate in 18 Regional Seas initiatives.

Nairobi Convention work Programme

The Nairobi Convention is progressively strengthened by development of a biennial work programme to successfully carry out a number of activities, largely with the support of the Eastern Africa Trust Fund and partners. The Nairobi Convention Work Programme focuses on the promotion, facilitation and implementation of the objectives of the Nairobi Convention in an integrated, mainstreamed and cross-sectoral manner at the regional and national levels.

The work programme is a partnership programme based on the priorities of the Western Indian Ocean countries, partner programmes, linkages between different environmental themes: socio-economic development issues as well as science and policy. The work programme is funded by Governments, through the East African Trust Fund, and by partners/donors. The Secretariat through Decision CP8/13 on Enhancing Cooperation, Collaboration and Support with Partners  has been encouraged to encourage collaboration and communication between Contracting Parties and civil society, private sector, non-governmental organisations, local governments and municipal authorities in the implementation of the work programme of Nairobi Convention for increased impact and commitment so as to harness the benefits of synergies and collaboration.

Partnerships and stakeholders

The Secretariat works closely with collaborating partners such as the “Consortium for Conservation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean” referred to as the (“WIO-C”) membership, other regional NGOs and various national and research institutions. Established in 2006 the “WIO-C” is a partnership between major NGOs with the support of IGOs in the Western Indian Ocean. WIO-C is anchored in the Nairobi Convention, and is designed to improve information exchange, synergy and coordination between NGOs working on coastal and marine environment issues in the Western Indian Ocean region, and to move towards a joint programmatic approach in addressing these issues.

Our projects

The Secretariat has several projects which contribute to the implementation of its Work Programme. The projects have tremendous impact on capacity building, management, coordination and legal aspects and maintain momentum for the implementation of the Nairobi Convention and its protocols. Most activities in these projects have been undertaken in collaboration with WIO-C members, NGOs and institutions, which has enabled the Secretariat to broaden its base of partners and to secure the support of civil society in supporting the implementation of the Convention and its work programme. 

Legal Instruments

The Nairobi Convention siged in Friday, June 21, 1985 and came into force in Thursday, May 30, 1996. 

The Nairobi Convention Secretariat held the Conference of Plenipotentiaries and the Sixth Conference of Parties (COP6) to the Nairobi Convention at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters at Gigiri in Nairobi Kenya, from 29 March to 1 April 2010, which considered and adopted the Amended Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Western Indian Ocean