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May 15, 2024 (MOMBASA, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), through its Blue Economy Section, together with the Blue Economy Focal Ministries of IGAD Member States, hosted a three-day regional workshop on promoting the establishment and effective management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the IGAD Member States.

The aim of the workshop was to build and update the capacities of policy officers to expand the designation of more MPAs and improve the management of the already designated MPAs in the IGAD region to meet 30% designation of protected areas by 2030. The workshop provided an opportunity to share practical experience on popularly managed MPA in Mombasa areas through a practical visit on the site. Experts in charge of Blue Economy, parks/conservation management, environment conservation, etc., and an invited expert from The Nature Conservancy, Mombasa Office, convened to share experiences on how to establish and manage MPAs.

The Assistant Director in the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Ms. Barwako Houssein Kidar, noted that the workshop was timely because despite having protected areas in the region, the protected areas are not effectively managed. Protected areas are important for human survival as they ensure healthy and productive ecosystems. Climate change is a great danger to MPAs and therefore strengthening their management is critically important.

Additionally, Mr. Peter Kimwele, the Assistant Director for the State Department of Fisheries and Blue Economy in Kenya, officially opening the workshop on behalf of the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs of Kenya, expressed that workshop provides an opportunity to share experiences and learn from one another. “This workshop will enable us to know the types of flora and fauna available in our region, and how well we need to manage the resources. This is because we are experiencing challenges associated with biodiversity loss. This initiative is in line with the provisions of the African Union Agenda 2063 on the continental conservation framework,” he said. Mr. Kimwele also noted that some marine resources such as fish are migratory and therefore having MPAs is important for conservation.

Dr. Eshete Dejen, Programme Manager for Sustainable Environment Protection Unit of IGAD, on behalf of the IGAD Director for Agriculture and Environment Division, thanked the Government of Kenya for honouring IGAD’s request and hosting the regional MPA workshop in Mombasa, the ideal blue economy city in the IGAD region. He noted that the discussions around MPAs are very important because of the immense blue resources that the region has. The IGAD region has many protected areas, an indication that our Member States are very much concerned about conserving our marine and aquatic resources. He concluded by emphasizing the need to come up with concrete recommendations on what to do as a region to protect our marine and aquatic habitats and ecosystems.

The objectives of the workshop included to promote the designation of more MPA in the IGAD region to conserve nature and biodiversity; to Strengthen the effective management of MPAs in the IGAD region; to share practical experiences from Kenya for the effective management of MPAs; and to promote the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework to halt biodiversity loss and reverse the biodiversity loss in 2030.


IGAD Regional Blue Economy Strategy was endorsed by the IGAD Member States’ Ministers responsible for coordinating Blue Economy on April 1, 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The IGAD Blue Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan intend to structure implementation of the Blue Economy at both national and regional levels, while fostering cooperation and regional integration as well as strengthening support to the member states to effectively translate policies into concrete actions. It will also contribute to the effective implementation of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy.

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