Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
Target 10By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.
Kenya’s coral reefs cover an area of approximately 639 km2. Long-term monitoring has been pursued by Kenyan institutions since 1998/99, to follow the trends and status of corals and fish populations at a country level . Kenyan coral reefs have an average hard coral cover of 18%, with fleshy algae at 34%, across a range of healthy and degraded reefs. Fully protected reef lagoons have higher hard coral cover (15-40%), focal fish species abundance (>100 indiv./ha ) and less algal cover (40%), and high coral rubble cover (>10%).
Key legislation include the Fisheries management and development Act has Act (2016), EMCA Act 2015, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority Act, 2013 (No. 13 of 2013), Water Act 2016, Fisheries Management and Development Act, 2016 (No. 35 of 2016), Wetlands Policy 2013, Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016 (No. 34 of 2016 and Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013 (No. 47 of 2013).
A Coral Reef and Seagrass Ecosystems Conservation Strategy Plan (2014) was launched for 2015-2019. To reduce the fragmentation among different institutions and their mandates that affect coral reefs, the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Action Plan and Coral Reef and Seagrass Strategy provide ways to bridge the gaps. The National Coral Reef Restoration Protocol (NCRRP) is expected to provide information on replacing dead coral reefs and adversely affected fish breeding grounds along the coastline. Kenya Coral Reef and Sea Grass Ecosystems Conservation Strategy 2015-2019 also targets the coral and associated ecosystems recovery. the National Mangrove Ecosystem Management Plan also supported by the KCDP project. This is a 10 years management plan spanning from 2017 –2027 period; and with an estimated implementation budget of KES 3.8 billion.
Historically, management of coral reefs in Kenya has been the domain of central government, with a network of 4 marine parks (fully protected) and 6 marine reserves (partially protected, allowing traditional fishing) under the management of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). In recent years, coastal fishing communities have embraced the concept of community-based conservation and established 12 demarcated CCAs (the local term for Locally Managed Marine Areas, LMMAs), to enhance sustainable fisheries and other livelihood options such as eco-tourism.
At International and Regional level Kenya is a signatory to many regional and international Conventions, Agreements and Protocols, governing fisheries. The Country is also a member of Regional Fisheries Bodies such as the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, International Whaling Commission, Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization, South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission, and the Committee of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Africa.
The countries have implemented measures to reduce fishing pressures, including controls on dynamite, fishing in Tanzania, through joint community, NGO and government pressure, and put a ban on aquarium fish collection in Mozambique until it can be shown to be sustainable. All countries are devolving more power to local communities to monitor and manage their own fishery resources, largely through the mediation of conservation and community development initiatives