Protecting the sea and coasts in Kenya and Tanzania across borders
Kwale - Tanga Coast - Transboundary conservation and sustainable management of coastal and marine biodiversity, Kenya, Tanzania
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), International Climate Initiative (IKI)
2023 to 2026
Products and expertise
Climate, environment, management of natural resources
The coasts of Kenya and Tanzania are part of the large Somali Current ecosystem and are home to a unique biodiversity. This ecosystem’s services – especially fish – are the livelihood and often the main source of income for the coastal inhabitants. They are the basis for the economically important exchange between the towns of Kwale in Kenya and Tanga in Tanzania.
However, the ecosystem is severely strained and suffering. Biodiversity is declining due to overfished seas and coral reefs, seagrass beds destroyed by fishing and mangrove forests cleared for timber and fuel. Communities are already involved in managing the various protected areas. However, they lack strategies and support to effectively protect the designated areas and establish new protected areas.
A mechanism exists that enables communities to manage marine and coastal resources in a transboundary, participatory and environmentally friendly manner. This conserves marine and coastal biodiversity in the Kwale and Tanga regions.
Together with the state organisations Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Marine Parks and Reserves Unit (MPRU), the project contributes to the creation of transboundary marine protected areas.
It also supports local communities and beach management units (BMUs) of local fishers in using and protecting existing natural resources in an environmentally friendly way. BMUs are state-supported groups that help organise fisheries and monitor the environmentally friendly use and conservation of resources, for example through fishing quotas. Specific measures include strengthening competencies in sustainable fishing, compiling management plans for the sustainable use of natural resources and developing environmentally friendly sources of income for coastal inhabitants.
Last update: October 2023