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7th Conference of Parties Meeting for the Nairobi Convention

10 - 14 December 2012
Maputo, Mozambique

Theme: “Partnering for a Healthy Western Indian Ocean”.

Brief on the Seventh Conference of Parties to the Nairobi Convention (COP7)

Official opening of the Seventh Conference of Parties (COP7) for the Nairobi Convention in Maputo, Mozambique, 12/12/2012

The seventh Conference of Parties for the Nairobi Convention was officially opened on 12 December 2012 by Minister for Planning and National Development Dr. Aiuba Cuereneia, on behalf of the Prime Minister of the Government of Mozambique.

The Conference of parties was attended by over 100 participants, including Dr. Alcinda Antonio de Abreu, Minister for Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA) Mozambique, and Dr. Ana Paulo Chichava, the Deputy Minister MICOA, Ms. Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister, Department of Water and Environmental Affairs South Africa, Ms. Chodouliati Abdou Chakour, Minister for the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Environment Comoros. The Federal Republic of Somalia was represented by Dr. Abdirizak Omar Mohamed, Minister for National Resources Federal Republic of Somalia.  Dr. Terezya Huvisa Luoga, Minister of State in the Vice President Office responsible for Environment, represented Tanzania. The COP7 meeting was also attended by Directors and senior representatives of the Governments of Comoros, Kenya, France, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania. Also present were the representatives of UN organizations, NGOs, IGOs, research institutions and academia including Mr. Ali Kaka, Director, IUCN Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Chair of the Consortium for the Conservation of the Marine and Coastal ecosystems (WIO-C).

In his opening remarks, Dr. Aiuba Cuereneia, Minister for Planning and National Development, Mozambique, acknowledged the environmental challenges faced by the Contracting Parties of the Nairobi Convention in managing the marine and coastal environment including social and economic aspects. He called on governments to embrace sustainable development for quality of life for all especially for the more than 60 million people living along the western Indian Ocean coast. The Minister called for the establishment of marine protected areas, and use of greener technologies in blue sectors i.e. tourism, inshore and offshore mining, and fisheries. The minister further thanked the Secretariat for the Nairobi Convention for establishing and maintaining partnerships with major organizations in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region dealing with various thematic areas such as oil and gas, green economy, ecosystem based management and climate change.

The Chair of the Consortium for the Conservation of the Marine and Coastal ecosystems (WIO-C) Mr. Ali Kaka, expressed gratitude to the Convention for acknowledging the contribution of the NGOs to the Nairobi Convention adding that the WIO-C contributes an estimated US$ 48 million to the implementation of the Work Programme. He added that the WIO-C was committed to foster its partnership with the Contracting Parties of the Nairobi Convention through the Secretariat for the Nairobi Convention for a healthy western Indian Ocean.

Speaking on behalf of other ministers that were present Ms. Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister, Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, Republic of South Africa, acknowledged that there are many environmental challenges faced by the governments of the region including the challenges from the oil and gas industry and climate change impacts. The deputy minister urged the contracting parties of the Nairobi Convention to take advantage of COP7 to contextualize the reports, papers, presentations and discussions to be made in the conference to develop practical solutions for management of the coastal and marine environment in the WIO region. She informed the meeting of the strategic location of the Republic of South Africa, adding that its geographical location provides South Africa a vantage point to relate to the environmental concerns stemming from both the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. She also encouraged the partners and the contracting parties to work together to conserve the marine and coastal environment of the WIO region.

The representative of UNEP Ms. Jacqueline Alder, Head of the Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems Branch, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI/UNEP) delivered a statement on behalf of the Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP. Recalling the outcomes of the Rio+ 20, the coordinator noted that the summit recognized the role of the oceans and their contribution to sustainable development and poverty alleviation. She also noted the contribution of the Nairobi Convention in the implementation of the Manila declaration under the Global Programme of Action on Land-based Sources and Activities (GPA) and the Ocean Compact to be implemented through the UNEP Regional Seas Programme including the Nairobi Convention. The Ms Alder took the opportunity to thank the contribution of the Nairobi Convention in formulation of the Strategic direction of the Regional Seas programme and outlined the growing importance of the Nairobi Convention in the region exemplified by the participation of different partners and governments of the region.

Launch of the Green Economy report for the SIDS

United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) launched a Green Economy for the SIDS report entitled “SIDS Focused Green Economy: An Analysis of Challenges and Opportunities” during the COP7 meeting of the Heads of Delegation. The green economy report for the SIDs analyses five development sectors in the Small Island States, namely, small scale fisheries and aquaculture, water, tourism, energy and solid waste in attempt to show how a transition to green economy can assist in addressing some of the most critical challenges Small Island States (SIDs) face while stimulating economic development, maintaining economic stability, facilitating job creation while conserving resources.

While applauding UNEP for the initiative, Mr. Phosun Khallee, Deputy Director, Ministry of environment and Sustainable Development, Mauritius stressed that is the responsibility of the current generation to create a better future. The report was thereafter handed over to Ms. Chodouliati Abdou Chakour, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development for Comoros. While acknowledging the report, the Minister stated that Green Economy is a relevant tool for future economic development of the nations across the world. She also stated that the report provides specific guidance for the development of Small Island States whose economy is totally dependent on coastal and marine resources. The Minister added that there was need to establish appropriate sustainable energy technologies through technological expertise and sharing mechanisms which will strengthen SIDS capacity in addressing energy constraints. She called upon developed countries including mainland states to assist SIDS in development. 

COP7 Heads of Delegation session

The Heads of Delegation meeting elected new members of the Bureau for the Nairobi Convention. The Government of the Republic of Tanzania was elected as Chair, Government of Mozambique elected as Vice Chair- Coordination, the Government of South Africa elected as Vice Chair- Resource Mobilization, Government of Seychelles elected as Vice Chair- Work Programme, while the Government of Kenya was elected as Rapporteur. There Heads of Delegation further deliberated on various issues including the recommendations from the science for policy workshop and the Policy makers; the Consortium for the Conservation of the Marine and Coastal ecosystems (WIO-C) meeting that preceded the Heads of Delegation session.

Thereafter, the Heads of Delegations adopted decisions which included;

  • Decision CP7/2: Implementation of the Amended Nairobi Convention and the Protocol on Land Based Sources and Activities; and
  • Decision CP7/3: Development of a Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management
  • Decision CP7/4: Review of the Protocol on Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora; and
  • Decision CP7/5: Strengthening National Reporting
  • Decision CP7/8: Environment Management for Oil and Gas Exploration;
  • Decision CP7/10: Financing and Management of Marine Protected Areas; Decision
  • CP7/11: Marine World Heritage Sites; and Decision
  • CP7/12: Conservation of Sharks
  • Decision CP7/14: Green Economy; and
  • Decision CP7/18: Support to the Federal Republic of Somalia on Management of Coastal and Marine Environment;

All decisions are available [English] [French]

The Government of the Seychelles offered to host the next Conference of Parties for the Nairobi Convention to be held in December 2014.

The COP7 closed at 1130Hrs on 14 December 2012.

COP7 highlights, documents and resources


Previous Sessions

Post session document

Report of the Seventh meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region [English]

Highlights of the COP

Brief on Day 2 of the COP7 - Science for Policy Workshop 10/12/2012

Brief on Day 1 of the COP7 - Science for Policy Workshop 10/12/2012

Pre-Session Documents

Working Documents

Information&Background Documents

Further Resources

Third Announcement to the COP7

Second Announcement to the COP7

First Announcement to the COP7


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