Regions and network

UNEPGEFUniversity of Kalmar
Region 45a: Agulhas Current

  • Major intergovernmental agreements and actors
  • Action programmes, strategies, and research
  • State of the regional environment
  • GEF Projects in the region
  • Other actors and initiatives

    Major intergovernmental agreements and actors

    Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region
    The objective of the Nairobi Convention, which was adopted in 1985 and came into force in 1996
    , is to protect and manage the marine environment and coastal areas of the Eastern African region. The Contracting Parties commit themselves to take all appropriate measures to prevent, reduce and combat pollution of the Convention area, particularly pollution from ships, dumping, land-based sources, exploration and exploitation of the sea bed, and airborne pollution. They also agree to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems as well as the habitat of depleted, threatened or endangered species and other marine life in specially protected areas. Furthermore, Parties agree to cooperate in dealing with pollution emergencies in the Convention area.

    Agreement for the Establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission
    See also the Agreement (adopted in 1993, in force in 1996) as a pdf file. The objective of the Commission (IOTC) is to promote cooperation among its Members with a view to ensuring, through appropriate management, the conservation and optimum utilisation of stocks covered by this Agreement and encouraging sustainable development of fisheries based on such stocks.

    Southern African Development Community, SADC
    Established through the Treaty of the Southern African Development Community, signed in Windhoek in 1992. Members are Angola, Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychells, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Under the Treaty the countries of the region shall coordinate, harmonise and rationalise their policies and strategies for sustainable development in all areas for human endeavour. It is projected that in the next 20-30 years, three or four SADC States will be facing serious water shortages if nothing is done now. It was in recognition of the importance of a coordinated approach to utilisation and preservation of water that the SADC member States signed the Protocol on Shared Watercourse Systems at the 1995 Summit in South Africa. The main thrust of the Protocol which is a legally binding document, is to ensure equitable sharing of water and also ensure efficient conservation of the scarce resource. The SADC is also responsible for the implementation of the Zambezi Action Plan for the Environmentally Sound Management of the Common Zambezi River (ZACPLAN).

    Secretariat for Eastern African Coastal Area Management, SEACAM
    The objective of SEACAM is to assist the Eastern African coastal countries to implement and coordinate coastal management activities following up on the 1993 Arusha Resolution and the 1996 Seychelles Statement on Integrated Coastal Zone Management. The SECAM Work Programme includes a number of priority areas: Capacity building, particularly of local NGOs; Database of CZM programs, projects and activities; and institutions and individuals; Environmental assessment of coastal aquaculture and coastal tourism; Public sector management; and Sustainable financing of coastal management programs.

    Organisation of African Unity, OAU
    The Organization of African Unity was established in 1963, and the Charter of the Organization was signed on that occasion by Heads of State and Government of 32 independent African States. Its purposes are to promote the unity and solidarity of the African States; defend the sovereignty of members; eradicate all forms of colonialism; promote international cooperation having due regard for the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; coordinate and harmonize Member States economic, diplomatic, educational, health, welfare, scientific and defense policies. Issues like Research, Planning, Statistics & Population; Trade, Finance, Customs & Tourism; Agriculture & Rural Development; Transport & Communications; Co-operation & Integration; Industry, Energy & Mineral Resources, fall under the organisation's Economic Cooperation and Development Department.

    UN Economic Commission for Africa, ECA
    On the UN ECA site of the one finds News from Around Africa; Meetings & Events on Africa; Archives of ECA Activities; IT for Development; Nexus Issues; Empowering Women; Policy Analysis; Statistical Activities;Development Management; Governance; Regional Integration; Library and Publications; Reports of Conferences; Subregional Offices; and Special Initiative on Africa.

    IOC Regional Committee for the Co-operative Investigation in the North and Central Western Indian Ocean,IOCINCWIO
    A regional subsidiary body of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. The IOC's regional subsidiary bodies are responsible for the promotion, development and co-ordination of the Commission's marine scientific research programmes, the ocean services, and related activities, including TEMA (training, education and mutual assistance), in their respective regions. In establishing their programmes, they take into account the specific interests and needs of the member States in the region.

    Financial institutions

    African Development Bank
    The ADB is the premier financial development institution of Africa, dedicated to combating poverty and improving the lives of people of the continent and engaged in the task of mobilising resources towards the economic and social progress of its Regional Member Countries. The bank's Environment and Sustainable Development Unit "is the focal point for addressing and integrating the cross-cutting themes of environment, population, gender, poverty reduction, NGO relations/local participation, and institutional development into the bank's operations." The bank's environmental guidelines include coastal and marine resource management, and fisheries. See also the bank's country environmental profiles for its members.


    Action programmes, strategies and research

    UNEP Regional Seas Programme
    The Regional Seas Programme was initiated in 1974 as a global programme implemented through regional components. The Regional Seas Programme is UNEP's main framework in the field of the coastal and marine environment. It includes 14 regions and three partner seas, involves more than 140 coastal states, and focuses on sustainable development of coastal and marine areas. Each regional action plan is formulated according to the needs and priorities of the region as perceived by the Governments concerned. Regional conventions are in place for several areas. See a map of all regional seas, and go to more information on the Black Sea, Wider Caribbean, Mediterranean, East Asian Seas, South Asian Seas, Eastern Africa, Kuwait Region, North West Pacific, Red Sea And Gulf of Aden, South East Pacific, North East Pacific, South Pacific, Upper South West Atlantic, and West and Central Africa. The UNEP Regional Seas web site also contains information on What's at stake, Major threats, and Actions.


    State of the regional environment

    GEO 2000 State of the Environment: Africa

    Global Enviroment Outlook 2000. GEO is:

    • a global environmental assessment process, the GEO Process, that is cross-sectoral and participatory. It incorporates regional views and perceptions, and builds consensus on priority issues and actions through dialogue among policy-makers and scientists at regional and global levels.
    • GEO outputs, in printed and electronic formats, including the GEO Report series. This series makes periodic reviews of the state of the world's environment, and provides guidance for decision-making processes such as the formulation of environmental policies, action planning and resource allocation. Other outputs include technical reports, a web site and a publication for young people.

    GEF Projects in the region

    Projects under implementation

    UNDP - GEF - Biodiversity:
    Island Biodiversity and Participatory Conservation in the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros
    The project aims to implement the biodiversity components of the Comoros National Environment Policy and Environmental Action Plan. The project objective is to develop capacity at all levels in the Comoros and assist to establish the legal, financial, institutional and operational frameworks and essential technical skills for collaborative management and sustainable use of biodiversity. Key outputs of the project include establishing a model national park managed under a collaborative agreement, implementing at least two species recovery plans, and establishing a sustainable funding mechanism, such as biodiversity trust fund, to cover recurrent protected area and species conservation costs.

    World Bank - GEF - Biodiversity:
    Lake Malawi/Nyasa Biodiversity Conservation
    Lake Malawi, Africa's third largest lake, is a unique freshwater ecosystem, home to over 500 endemic species of fish. The project will conduct faunal surveys, identify biodiversity hotspots, prepare a conservation and management plan for the lake, recommend revisions to national environmental legislation, and fund environmental training and education activities. Parallel Canadian project (C$4.2m) will finance capacity-building for research through twinning with a Canadian institution, limnology and water quality monitoring, laboratory equipment and public education.

    World Bank - GEF - Biodiversity:
    Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Management Project, Mozambique
    The project will test and refine an approach to achieve sustainable economic development of coastal zone resources through a strategic development planning process that integrates their ecological, social and physical values, and balances the varying interests involved in their management. The approach will be multi-pronged, and will include: (a) strategic spatial planning that fully integrates conservation with regional development; (b) establishment and strengthened protection of key marine conservation areas and initiation of conservation-oriented community activities in and around them; (c) capacity building of key government and non-government stakeholders responsible for biodiversity protection; (d) public awareness raising; and (e) establishing best practice for environmentally and biodiversity friendly development. The GEF grant will support the preparation of a biodiversity overlay to the strategic spatial development plan; protection of globally significant areas and species; establishment of a related monitoring system; integration of global biodiversity specifications into a tender for a private sector concession; and capacity building for conservation and management of biodiversity.

    Project concepts in the pipeline

    UNEP - GEF - International waters:
    Preparation of a Transboundry Diagnostic Analysis and a Strategic Action Programme for the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Western Indian Ocean
    The overall objective of this project is to prepare a transboundary diagnostic analysis and the framework elements of a strategic action programme that builds upon and complements the institutional and programmatic framework put in place.


    Other actors, initiatives and resources

    African Water Page
    The main objective of the African Water Page, published by the Water Policy International, is "to increase communication on the Continent of Africa between people working in water. However, the level of connectivity to the Internet is very low. With other forms of communication being a difficulty, the Internet adds enormous potential to data accessibility for professionals, particularly those working in Government service. Not only is data more accessible, but with email, News Groups and the WWW communication between sector professionals can also be enhanced. There is a distinct sense of isolation of people working, sometimes against daunting odds, in countries all around Africa. As the African Water Page develops, one of the objectives is to encourage African professionals to become members of a closed forum for the sharing of information and support, and to promote frank discussion about some of the difficulties facing African professionals".

    International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management, ICLARM
    An international research organization "devoted to improving the productivity, management and conservation of aquatic resources for the benefit of users and consumers in developing countries". ICLARM is one of the research centres of CGIAR, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
    See, for example, Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Project: The Role of Marine Protected Areas in Fisheries Management and Biodiversity Conservation in Coral Reef Ecosystems. ICLARM, in collaboration with the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other partners, and with support from the European Commission, has also developed FishBase, a global information system on fishes for research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and many more. FishBase contains full information on 23,500 species. Furthermore, ICLARM has developed similar systems on coral reefs and their resources (ReefBase) and management of fish stocks in Asia (TrawlBase).

    International Coral Reef Initiative, ICRI
    An environmental partnership that brings stakeholders together with the objective of sustainable use and conservation of coral reefs for future generations. ICRI is an informal mechanism that allows representatives of over 80 developing countries with coral reefs to sit in equal partnership with major donor countries and development banks, international environmental and development agencies, scientific associations, the private sector and NGOs to decide on the best strategies to conserve the world's coral reef resources.

    Coral Health and Monitoring Programme, NOOA
    The mission of the NOOA Coral Health and Monitoring Program is to provide services to help improve and sustain coral reef health throughout the world. Long term goals:Establish an international network of coral reef researchers for the purpose of sharing knowledge and information on coral health and monitoring.Provide near real-time data products derived from satellite images and monitoring stations at coral reef areas. Provide a data repository for historical data collected from coral reef areas. Add to the general fund of coral reef knowledge.See also Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, GCRMN.

    The Agulhas Current - a Large Marine Ecosystem (LME)
    A Large Marine Ecosystem, LME, is a "region of ocean space encompassing coastal areas from river basins and estuaries to the seaward boundary of continental shelves and the seaward margins of coastal current systems. It is a relatively large region characterized by distinct bathymetry, hydrography, productivity, and trophically dependent populations." See also Rhode Island University map of LMEs.


  • Global International Waters Assessment, GIWA
    SE- 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
    Phone: +46- 480 44 60 00. Fax: +46- 480 44 73 55.

    page last modified on 22 August 2006