LEAP - Locally Empowered Areas of Protection in the Western Indian Ocean
As of: September 2021
Marine protected areas account for only 2.1% of the Western Indian Ocean. The Aichi 2020 targets and SDG 14, however, provide for a coverage of 10%. The project therefore seeks to improve the Locally Managed Marine Areas concept (LMMA) in order to further disseminate it as a successful model for protected areas and to achieve the Aichi targets. To this end, the project integrates the topic of climate resilience into the LMMA concept. It also carries out restoration measures of critical ecosystems with the support of local communities. This increases the positive effects of LMMAs on biodiversity conservation and adaptation to climate change impacts. LMMAs share knowledge of proven measures with one another and strengthen advocacy through a regional network. The integration of the LMMA approach into national, regional and international policies, will establish it as one of the main models for coastal and marine protection and for ecosystem-based adaptation.
State of implementation/results
- In Seychelles, a National Working Group (NWG) was set up with members from various government departments and civil society stakeholders to guide the project.
- The project sites have been identified (namely Port Launay Marine Park and Baie Ternay Marine Park) and ongoing site-level consultations and surveys (socio-economic and ecological) are being carried out. The marine biodiversity assessment was completed at the end of Q4 2020.
- The National Parks Authority (SNPA) has acknowledged that a formal structure at local level is important to bring about the co-management of the marine national parks.
- The LEAP project was invited to participate in a national symposium organized by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MACCE), that was held from 9-12 November in 2020 and the LEAP project team participated with a presentation on the ‘Research for Management’ approach required for the project.
- In Mozambique, three Community Fishing Councils (CCP - which are the governing bodies of the Locally Managed Marine Areas, or LMMAs) proposed areas for the implementation of permanent and temporary reserves in three communities: Natucu, Muindi and Ngoma.
- A national level governance assessment has started. The Green List has been presented to key partners at national and provincial level. A Conservation Finance and Ecosystem Management training has been organised targeting several key provincial stakeholders in the country.
- Eleven Village Savings and Loan Association groups were created with 249 members, of which 205 are women. Awareness raising of 200 community groups about the importance and role of mangroves was carried out. Five CCPs have been trained in mangroves nursery and protected species. Trainings on octopus fisheries for women groups have been delivered, promoting temporary reserves and no take zones. Each village was supported to select some specific species for fisheries improvement activities (e.g. mussel, rabbit fish, octopus, emperor fish). Fisheries value chain surveys have been carried out and complementary horticulture groups have been created, consisting of 143 direct beneficiaries (19 men and 124 women). The main crops are lettuce, tomato and onion.
- In Kenya and Tanzania, initial governance workshops have been organised to identify how the LEAP project can add value to ongoing processes and initiatives in the respective countries. Five target sites have been identified in each country and project partners started engaging with site level partners to identify needs and potential areas of support. Country-level webinars have also been conducted to identify case studies that will be published on the PANORAMA platform.
- In Kenya, an indicator framework and protocol to conduct a sustainable financing assessment has been developed. A first report on sustainable financing of LMMAs has been produced and will constitute the base of a more comprehensive one that will aim at being widely accessible.