Bringing coral reef and coastal ecosystem data into county decision-making in Kenya

Bringing coral reef and coastal ecosystem data into county decision-making in Kenya

The project “Bringing coral reef and coastal ecosystem data into county decision-making in Kenya” is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the SERVIR-Eastern and Southern Africa (SERVIR-ESA) program currently being hosted at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD). The project is due to run for a duration of nine months from March – November 2019.

The project purpose is to facilitate the use of coral reef and other coastal and marine information to support County government planning and decision-making related to sustainable development, ecosystem-based management and building resilience of vulnerable communities. This will be achieved by compiling and integrating relevant earth observation and geospatial data in County planing processes and by developing policy-relevant integrated indices that can speed the uptake of data products in decision-making circles.

The project will provide information on extent, status and vulnerability of nearshore coastal ecosystems (coral reefs, seagrasses, mangroves) as key natural assets providing a wide range of ecosystem services that support coastal economies and livelihoods, and provide a foundation for adaptive capacity to climate change. Data and products from the project will be made available to all stakeholders through an online, open-access repository to encourage increased use.

This project provides an opportunity for CORDIO to continue to expand its engagement with County Governments, having previously worked with Kwale, Mombasa and Kilifi during the Emerging Knowledge for Local Adaptation Project and having recently been nominated to various county committees (Climate change steering committee in Kilifi) and technical working groups (Mombasa Environment policy).

Final Project Report
Kwale CountyLamu County

Kwale County is currently developing its 10-year County Spatial Plan (CSP) as part of the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP). The technical development of the CSP was led by the County Planning Dept, WWF-Kenya and GeoDev. Through the SERVIR-ESA grant, CORDIO began consultations with the technical partners of the CSP to identify key areas and processes to contribute towards. CORDIO was invited to focus on updating the coastal and marine components in the CSP, as well as provide technical expertise on mapping and spatial analyses. This is important as this sector can often be underrepresented and under-considered despite its high-value and importance for  coastal counties.

The partnership between CORDIO and the County Government of Kwale has been formalised through a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding, which will allow for the continued working relationship following the completion of this grant. The project will be anchored in the department of Land Environment and Natural Resources with significant input from the Fisheries division.

Lamu completed its County Spatial Plan (CSP) with support from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2016 and it was approved in 2017.

Through this project we will contribute to the implementation of the CSP by providing information and data on the coastal and marine environment key for developing subsidiary plans and decision making. In addition, we will provide recommendations for achieving sustainable socio-economic development within a broader framework of ecosystem-based conservation and management, informed by stakeholder meetings with the County Executive Committee Member in charge of Land Physical Planning and Infrastructure, Chief Officer in charge of Fisheries, County Physical Planner, as well as practitioners from non-government organisations.

This report provides a description of the context for effective coastal and marine ecosystem-based management in Lamu in 2019 following the completion of the County Spatial Plan.