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6th Conference of Parties Meeting for the Nairobi Convention ;
and the
Conference of Plenipotentiaries for the Nairobi Convention

29th March - 1st April 2010, Nairobi, Kenya

Theme: SUSTAINING PROGRESS

Background


The need for a legal instrument for the protection of marine and coastal environment of the Western Indian Ocean Region from land based sources and activities was envisaged by Contracting Parties in decision CP2/1 of the Second Conference of Parties (COP2) which was held in Port Louis, Mauritius in 1999.

As per decision CP2/1 an ad hoc Legal and Technical Review Working Group was authorized to review the Nairobi Convention and its protocols; and to explore the development of a protocol on land based sources and activities (LBSA protocol).

The proposal for the development of the LBSA protocol was endorsed by Contracting Parties in decision CP3/6 of the Third Conference of Parties (COP3) which was held in Maputo, Mozambique in 2001.

Subsequently, during the Fourth Conference of Parties (COP4) which was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar in 2004, Contracting Parties in decision CP4/7 authorized the review and updating of the Nairobi Convention text and the development of a new protocol on land based sources and activities.

During the COP4 meeting the WIO-Lab Project entitled Addressing Land-based Activities in the Western Indian Ocean (referred to as "WIO-LaB) was launched.

The Regional Legal and Technical Review Task force began the revision of the Nairobi Convention text and the development of the draft LBSA protocol in 2005. At the inception meeting of the regional task force that was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, the outline of the draft LBSA protocol was presented and the process of development of the protocol outlined.

With the facilitation of the WIO-LaB project the Amended Nairobi Convention text and three successive drafts of the LBSA protocol were developed through a participatory consultative process with national legal and technical experts, national focal points to the Nairobi Convention, UNEP and sister organizations.

Subsequently, the documents were further discussed during the second and third meetings of the Regional Legal and Technical Task Force in Diani Kenya in March 2006 and in Dar es Salaam Tanzania in February 2007.

The drafts prepared were presented to the Fifth Conference of Parties (COP5) in South Africa in November 2007, at which decision CP5/4 noted the revised Nairobi Convention text and the third draft LBSA protocol, and requested the Secretariat to organize negotiations to finalise the texts of the two proposed instruments and to convene a Conference of Plenipotentiaries to adopt the same by December 2009.

The Secretariat for the Nairobi Convention organised the first formal Legal and Technical Review Meeting on the revised Nairobi Convention text and the third draft LBSA protocol in Cape Town South Africa in November 2008. Subsequently, with further inputs from the member countries a fourth draft of the LBSA protocol was prepared and negotiated by legal and technical experts, in Mombasa Kenya in June 2009 and endorsed by national focal points to the Nairobi Convention in Mombasa, Kenya in December 2009. The Focal Points proposed that the two instruments be adopted during the upcoming Conference of Plenipotentiaries.

Introduction


Pre- Conference Meetings
Prior to the COP6 meetings two regional meetings were organised back to back with COP6. These included:

  1. The First Conference of National Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Committees in the Western Indian Ocean which will discuss progress in development of Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans in the Western Indian Ocean region, on 24 to 25 March 2010 in Mombasa, Kenya; and
  2. The Regional Steering Committee meeting for the GEF UNEP-UNDP Project Preparation Grant (PPG) phase for the project entitled Implementing Integrated Water Resource and Wastewater Management in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Small Island Developing States which will discuss the outputs of the PPG process, on 26 March 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Associated Meetings
During the COP6 meeting sessions, the WIO Regional Stocktaking Meeting was held on 29 March 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop considered progress made in the implementation of all the GEF projects under the International Waters portfolio in the Western Indian Ocean region.

COP6 Meetings
The Sixth Conference of Parties meetings was organized in two segments:

  1. The experts’ meeting on 29 and 30 March 2010, which deliberated on the texts for the Amended Nairobi Convention; the LBSA Protocol; the SAP; and the Revised Action Strategy for the Nairobi Convention. The main outputs from the experts’ sessions were recommendations to the Sixth Conference of Parties and Conference of Plenipotentiaries.
  2. Heads of delegations session on 31 March to 1 April 2010 which served as the Conference of Plenipotentiaries. The main outputs of the meeting of plenipotentiaries was the adoption of the two instruments namely; the Amended Nairobi Convention; and the LBSA Protocol. The Heads of delegations will subsequently endorse the Strategic Action Programme (SAP).

A parallel NGO/Stakeholders’ Forum was held on 30 March 2010 to deliberate on the implementation of the Strategic Action Programme.

The Nairobi Convention Secretariat launched two documents namely:

  • The State of Coast Report (SOC) for Kenya 2008 and the
  • Strategic Action Programme for the Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment in the Western Indian Ocean from Land- Based Sources and Activities.

Ministers responsible for the environment and other government delegates represented all the 10 states that are Contracting Parties to the Nairobi Convention. International and regional experts, representatives of regional, national and local non-governmental organizations and members of the civil society were also in attendance.

The Nairobi Convention Secretariat expected the Sixth Conference of Parties (COP6) to lay the foundation for the development of a common vision from the lessons learnt from on-going GEF projects and through experts. With this new vision and approach, there was anticipation of increased visibility and efficiency in the implementation of the Convention.


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