National Coral Reef Assessment
Kenya's Coral Reefs: Insights from the National Coral Reef Assessment Workshop
On 11th April 2023, CORDIO East Africa hosted a workshop in Mombasa, Kenya that centered on the National Coral Reef Assessment (NCRA) for Kenya. The assessment builds on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) analysis carried out for the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. This globally recognized framework aims to assess risks to ecosystems to identify those most vulnerable to collapse in order to guide conservation efforts, management decisions and to prioritize resource utilization.
The workshop report can be found here.
The RLE is now recognized as a headline indicator in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). The GBF, adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at COP15 in December 2022, emphasizes the significance of conserving biodiversity and fostering sustainable use.
The RLE was conducted in 2019-2021, in partnership with the IUCN Coral Specialist Group (CSG), a range of research partners from the WIO Coral Reef Network and research partners worldwide. Building on it, partners are now working to apply the findings at the national level in three focal countries: Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. This will help to provide data relevant to policy and management needs in each country, as well as assist the countries in reporting on the Global Biodiversity Framework. The initiative is part of a NORAD funded project titled “Innovating and sharing knowledge for coastal resilience in Eastern Africa”.
The workshop brought together various coral reef stakeholders in Kenya, among them researchers, managers, community leaders, government representatives, NGOs and other coral reef data contributors. It provided an overview of the NCRA, its relation to the GBF and Kenya’s reporting obligations, as well as the analysis approach and preliminary results.
See the concept note in the adjacent panel.
Discussions and Outcomes
During the workshop’s interactive working session, the 32 participants, from 20 different organisations delved into the uses of the NCRA outputs and how the assessment could contribute to national policy processes, as well as regional and global needs. Discussions also revolved around fostering engagement and participation, recognizing the pivotal role of diverse stakeholder groups in conservation efforts.
The workshop yielded valuable recommendations that will further propel coral reef conservation in Kenya and Eastern Africa. Key among them was the need to re-initialize national data efforts, ensuring accurate and current information for informed decision-making. Additionally, participants stressed the importance of conveying the assessment’s findings in a clear and accessible manner, catering to a diverse range of stakeholders, including community members and other non-scientists. This emphasis on effective communication aims to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and communities, fostering inclusive participation in conservation initiatives.
The NCRA workshop for Kenya marks a remarkable milestone in the ongoing endeavor to protect and preserve the region’s coral reefs. Through the collaborative exchange of knowledge and recommendations, the workshop has laid the groundwork for re-initializing national data, promoting effective communication, and fostering inclusive participation. These actions will drive the protection and management of Kenya’s coral reefs, contributing to the broader goals of the GBF and ensuring a sustainable future for these vital ecosystems.
Click to download the workshop report.