The Development of
locally Managed Marine Areas
Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) are a cornerstone of community-based conservation, supporting the mobilization of local capacity and practice in the management of coastal and marine coastal resources.
Successful development of LMMAs is attributed to leaders who champion the LMMA process, informed and committed community members, awareness and training in community based marine resource management, political support, a clear legal framework and an initial external source of funding. Exchange visit to an existing LMMA appears be an important catalyst for a community to establish their own LMMA. Sustainable financing for LMMA operations continues to remain a challenge.
Our contribution in LMMA development is built on 15 years working with fishing communities in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. Between 2013 and 2015, a major project in Kenya supported by the UNDP Small Grants Programme (SGP) saw the development of legislative guidelines for LMMAs, a Training toolkit for LMMA management and a community coral reef monitoring manual that provides practical methods for coastal communities to assess the condition and their coral reefs and hence the effectiveness of their LMMA.
Between 2013 and 2017 CORDIO worked with IUCN, the Cousteau Society and the Ministry of Urbanism, Housing and Environment to implement “The Lower Awash-Lake Abbé Land and Seascape – Enhancing biodiversity conservation in transboundary ecosystems and seascapes” project – a component of the IGAD Biodiversity Management Programme in the Horn of Africa. As part of this project we worked with fishers in Arta Plage to develop an LMMA. The community moved fast to establish the first LMMA in Djibouti in less than six months, producing a draft co-management plan for the Arta Plage LMMA. One of the first activities in this development was an exchange visit by Arta Plage community members to Kuruwitu LMMA in Kenya which was a significant impetus to the Djiboutians to establish their own. The exchange visit and the development of LMMAs in Kenya are featured in the recent film “LMMAs in Africa”.