15 Nov 2019 News

Nairobi Convention Marine and Coastal News Round-Up in the Western Indian Ocean (11th - 15th November)

Dugong and Seagrass research Toolkit by Blue Forests Project

Welcome, Nairobi Convention Member States, partners, and friends, to this installment of the Weekly News Round-up! Please keep reading to find out what’s new in efforts to protect, conserve and develop the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region.

We look forward to continuing our work with you to create a prosperous WIO region with healthy rivers, coasts, and oceans.

Upcoming Events: 


Save Our Seas Study Finds that Seychelles' St. Joseph is Healthy Place for Blacktip Reef Sharks

The Seychelles’ remote St Joseph atoll is a vital habitat for newborns of the blacktip reef shark, a new study published in Scientific Reports. The study compared the body condition and foraging success of newborn blacktip reefs sharks at two different locations: Moorea, French Polynesia and St Joseph atoll, Seychelles.  Blacktip reef shark gets its name from the pointed snout and black tips on its fins. It is considered one of the most beautiful sharks in the ocean and is seen often by divers since the species prefers shallow waters……….read more

Read the full-length paper here 

Local Organization builds Knowledge Around Biodiversity in the Comoros Archipelago

South African marine conservation programme  WILDOCEANS (of the WILDTRUST) recently presented ongoing research at the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) Madagascar and Indian Ocean Hotspot Grantees meeting in Nosy Be, Madagascar –  attended by more than 80 representatives from NGO’s who are leading a variety of biodiversity conservation projects in the region. The local non-profit organisation is currently executing the second of a two-year grant from the CEPF to build knowledge around biodiversity in the Comoros Archipelago, and build capacity in local research institutions to continue this important research in the future…………read more 

Protecting Biodiversity in West Africa’s Offshore Oil & Gas Development

Dead fish washed ashore, turtles covered in oil and unable to move, thick gobbets of oil staining pristine white sands and dark polluted waters are harrowing, salient reminders of the negative impacts that offshore oil and gas development can have on marine and coastal areas ecosystems. In West Africa, offshore oil and gas activities have increased tremendously in the recent past, and so has the risk to these ecosystems………..read more 

How Do You Map Africa’s Mischievous Manatees?

In Florida, November is Manatee Awareness Month, where anglers and boaters take special care around these placid herbivores – but on the other side of the Atlantic, their cousins the African Manatees aren’t seen in the same light……..read more 

Mangroves reduce the vulnerability of coral reef fisheries to habitat degradation

Despite general and wide-ranging negative effects of coral reef degradation on reef communities, hope might exist for reef-associated predators that use nursery habitats. When reef structural complexity is lost, refuge density declines and prey vulnerability increases.  This research explored whether the presence of nursery habitats can promote high predator productivity on degraded reefs by mitigating the costs of increased vulnerability in early life, whilst allowing for the benefits of increased food availability in adulthood. The research found that low complexity, degraded reefs with nurseries can support fisheries productivity that is equal to or greater than that in complex reefs that lack nurseries. We compare and validate model predictions with field data from Belize. Our results should inform reef fisheries management strategies and protected areas now and into the future……read more 

Brief on the Guidelines for the Monitoring and Assessment of Plastic Litter in the Ocean: Recommendations and Future Steps

This brief has been prepared by UN Environment Programme for the purposes of outreach, communication and training. It will be translated in all UN languages as well as other identified languages in some regions. The guidelines are also to support the further development of the marine litter monitoring framework under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.1 floating plastic litter as a global indicator of marine pollution. This is important in ensuring that harmonized data can be collected globally. Harmonization will assure a collective response to tackle the marine plastic issue where there is no compromise through access to shared monitoring guidelines. This will also provide a clearer picture of the true scale of the problem, and measure the impact of dedicated reduction measures, such as the ban of single use plastics.………….read more 

Africa Environment Ministers to Accelerate Action on Pressing Continental Environment Challenges

Under the theme 'Taking action for Environment Sustainability and Prosperity in Africa', the 17th Ordinary Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) opened this week at the Olive Convention Centre in the coastal city of Durban in South Africa. The Conference is focusing on greening the economy in Africa; advancing the circular economy; the development of a blue economy; biodiversity loss; land degradation; desertification, drought and climate change…….read more 

Economic Valuation of "wet" Ecosystems

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Guidance Document for Economic Valuation in International Waters (IW) Projects is a reference source and a guide for GEF IW projects. It contains step-by-step guidance on the economic valuation of ecosystem services of inland and marine "wet" ecosystems, with a focus on easily applicable and pragmatic valuation approaches. The guidance is usable for both screening and in-depth analyses. The Guidance Document contains templates for reports, Terms of Reference for experts to support the valuation work, a checklist for the valuation itself, and a full set of training materials including exercises for a better understanding of crucial steps in the economic valuation methodologies……read more 

Climate Change Will Hit Plankton Severely Damaging Fisheries and Marine Food Chain

The impacts of climate change can even extend to plankton - marine organisms invisible to the human naked eye - which produce half of the oxygen available in the atmosphere and form the basis of the food chain in oceans. This may, in turn, have a ripple effect on other fish and whales that feed on them, say scientists. But plankton decline will most likely happen in the polar regions, which are vulnerable to the warming ocean temperature………read more 

Read the full-length paper here