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Action Plan for the Protection, Management and development of

the Marine and Coastal environment of the

Eastern Africa region


  1. The Eastern African region has been designated by the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) [Decision 8/13C of 29 April 1980.]' as a region in which UNEP, in close collaboration with the relevant components of the United Nations system, should assist the Governments in formulating and implementing a programme for proper management and conservation of the resources of the region.
  2. The following specific preparatory work contributed to the development of this action plan:
    1. The joint UNEP/UN/UNIDO/FAO/UNESCO/WHO/IMCO/IUCN exploratory mission to the East African region (October-December 1981);
    2. The Workshop on the protection and development of the marine and coastal environment of the East African Region (Mahé, 27-30 September 1982).
  3. For the purposes of this action plan, the Eastern African region is defined as including the waters of the Indian Ocean within the jurisdiction of the following States: Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia and the United Republic of Tanzania. The region also includes coastal areas, the specific geographical limits of which will be determined by the Governments concerned on an ad hoc basis, taking into account the particular activity to be carried out.
  4. All components of the action plan are interdependent, and provide a framework for comprehensive action which should contribute to both the protection and the continued development of the region. No component is an end in itself. Each activity is intended to help the Governments of the region to strengthen the process through which environmental management policies are formulated.
  5. The general goals and objectives of this action plan for the protection and development of the marine and coastal environment are:
    1. To promote the sustainable development and sound management of regional marine and coastal resources by:
      1. Enhancing consultations and technical cooperation among the States of the region;
      2. Emphasizing the economic and social importance of the resources of the marine and coastal environment;
      3. Establishing a regional network of cooperation on concrete subjects/projects of mutual interest for the whole region;
    2. To establish general policies and objectives and to promote appropriate legislation for the protection and development of the marine and coastal environment on a national and regional level;
    3. To prevent pollution of the marine and coastal environment within the region originating from activities within the States of the region or from operations primarily subject to the jurisdiction of extra-regional States;
    4. To provide for the protection and rational development of the living resources of the region, which are a natural heritage with important economic and social values and potential, through the preservation of habitats, the protection of species, and the careful planning and management of human activities that affect them;
    5. To strengthen and encourage, through increased regional collaboration, the activities of institutions within the region involved in the study of marine and coastal resources and systems;
    6. To improve training and assistance at all levels and in all fields relating to the protection and development of the marine and coastal environment;
    7. To stimulate the growth of public awareness, at all levels of society, of the value, interest, and vulnerability of the region's marine and coastal environment.
  6. More specifically, the activities of the action plan should result in:
    1. Assessment and evaluation of the causes, magnitude and consequences of environmental problems, in particular assessment of marine pollution and study of coastal and marine activities and social and economic factors that may influence, or be influenced by environmental degradation;
    2. Promotion of methods and practices for the management of socio-economic development activities that safeguard environmental quality and utilize resources wisely and on a sustainable basis;
    3. Adoption of regional legal agreements and strengthening of national legislation for the protection and development of the marine and coastal environment;
    4. Establishment of institutional machinery and adoption of financial arrangements required for the successful implementation of the action plan.
  7. A general description of the main components of the action plan is given below. These components and the related activities are not listed in order of priority.

The Action Plan as adopted by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries are reproduced below.

Action Plan for the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the Eastern African region

  • Environmental Assessment
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Legislation
  • Institutional and Financial Arrangements
  • Supporting Measures

For more on the Action Plan, please read
UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies No. 61 (1985)