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LEAP - Locally Empowered Areas of Protection in the Western Indian Ocean

As of: June 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

  • The project was officially launched on the 16th of September 2019. A National Working Group (NWG) was set up in Seychelles with members from various government departments and civil society stakeholders that will 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.
  • In Mozambique a National level governance assessment has started. The Green List has been presented at key partners at national and provincial level. A Conservation Finance and Ecosystem Management training has been organised targeting for several key provincial stakeholders in the country. Ten Village savings and loans schemes have been established with 225 direct beneficiaries of which 185 are women. About 450,000 MZN (equivalent 6,200 USD) have already been capitalised, of which 1,800 USD have been sub-granted as loans to support local entrepreneurship. Awareness raising of 200 community groups about the importance and role of mangroves; five CCPs (Community Fisheries Council - which are the governing bodies of the Locally Managed Marine Areas, or LMMAs) have been trained in mangroves Nurseries and protected species; trainings on octopus fisheries of woman groups have been delivered, promoting temporary reserves and no take zones; Each village has been 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 being lettuce, tomato and onion.-- In Kenya and Tanzania initial governance workshop have been organised to start identifying how best the LEAP project can add value into ongoing processes and initiatives in respective countries. Target sites have been identified in each country (five each) 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 in the PANORAMA platform.
  • 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.
  • IUCN’s Blue Buyout Fund concept has also been selected by the Conservation Finance Alliance’s incubator and is currently under further feasibility assessment. --The first steps in establishing the Green List process in Mozambique and the WIO islands are currently under implementation.

Project data

Kenya, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania

Implementing organisation:
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) - Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office

Political partner(s):
  • Institute for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture (IDEPA) Ministry of the Sea, Inland Waters, and Fisheries
  • Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change - Seychelles
  • Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife - Kenya
  • Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries, Fisheries - Tanzania
  • State House, Office of the Vice President - Department of The Blue Economy

Implementing partner(s):
  • Associação do Meio Ambiente (AMA)
  • CORDIO East Africa
  • Nature Seychelles

BMU grant:
4.124.185,00 €

04/2019  till  03/2023

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