Preliminary Ocean Health Index assessments completed for Kenya and Tanzania

The Ocean Health Index (OHI) is a scientific framework used to measure how healthy oceans are. It is the first integrated assessment framework that scientifically combines key biological, physical, economic, cultural and social elements of the ocean’s health. The OHI scores reflect how well coastal regions optimize their potential ocean benefits and services in a sustainable way relative to a target, on a scale of 0 to 100.

The Ocean Health Index measures the ability of oceans to sustainably provide 10 products or services (called “goals”) that are important to humans (see image below).

CORDIO East Africa in collaboration with Conservation International (CI) and National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS, USA), implemented preliminary OHI+ assessments for both Kenya and Tanzania  in 2018. Both processes were stakeholder-inclusive, and the national partners were National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) in Kenya and Fisheries Education Training Agency (FETA) and Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI) in Tanzania. A number of other institutions contributed to the assessment at various stages.

The assessments were conducted using two of the ten OHI goals: Biodiversity through health of coastal and marine habitats and Food Provision through sustainability of wild caught fisheries.Assessments in both countries were conducted at a sub-national scale: 5 coastal counties for Kenya and 7 coastal zones for Tanzania. A detailed technical report and a 2-page brief providing an overview of the main findings and recommendations for Kenya and Tanzania can be found here.

Breakdown of habitat sub-goal scores for each coastal county in Kenya

Breakdown of habitat sub-goal scores for each coastal zone for Tanzania

Dissemination meetings took place in both Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, and involved key stakeholders from relevant government authorities, NGOs and community organisations involved in marine conservation and research. Plans to move forward with integrating the framework within key government processes are underway.

participants at the OHI Kenya dissemination meeting in Mombasa on Thursday 22nd November 2018

participants at the OHI Tanzania dissemination meeting in Dar es Salaam on 5th December 2018