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Improving Management Effectiveness of Kisite Mpunguti Marine Conservation Area

Project background

Improving Management Effectiveness of Kisite Mpunguti Marine Conservation Area Project is a two-year project (2020 – 2022) whose main objective is to enhance management effectiveness of Kisite – Mpunguti Marine Protected Area (KMMPA) and adjacent Locally Marine Managed Areas (LMMAs) for sustainable biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development. This project is financed by the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States through the BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) Programme. The project is jointly developed and implemented by WWF-Kenya and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in partnership with the local communities and other relevant agencies.

The KMMPA and the surrounding ecosystem support a high diversity of marine life including corals, reef fish, crustaceans, dolphins, sea turtles, birds, seagrass beds and mangrove forests. The MPA supports socio-economic activities including fisheries and tourism. There are over
400 fisher folks, 120 community boat-operators and approximately 4,000 residents living in the Shimoni trading centre neighbouring KMMPA and on the Wasini island who depend on the MPA for their livelihood. Despite being one of the best managed MPAs in Kenya, co-management still remains weak which is likely to undermine the MPA meeting its conservation goals.

The project seeks to address and provide solutions to some of these challenges. The project builds upon WWF’s and KWS marine work over the past two decades.

Target sites

This project focuses on the Kisite–Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve (KMMPA) and the surrounding Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA). The KMMPA is located in Kwale County on the southern part of Kenya’s coastline near the Tanzania border, off Shimoni and south of Wasini Island. It covers an area of 39 km² and comprises four small islands surrounded by coral-reef.


Project objectives

The overall objective of this project is to improve the management effectiveness of Kisite- Mpunguti Marine Protected Area and adjacent locally managed marine areas (LMMAs) for sustainable biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development.

Specific objectives:

  1. By December 2021, the management effectiveness scores of the KMMPA will have improved measured against the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) and Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET)
  2. By December 2021, the local communities around KMMPA perceive MPA management as inclusive and contributing more benefits to them. This objective aims to improve governance and equity through enhanced community participation and benefit-sharing


Project results areas and key Interventions

The project has three key result areas with several sets of interventions aligned to each of the objectives.

Result 1: Improved management effectiveness of Kisite– Mpunguti Marine Park

  1. Develop short term action plans with measurable targets to improve the effectiveness of MPA management
  2. Improve KWS staff competencies through appropriate tailor-made training programmes.
  3. Train 30 staff and 36 (20 Women;16 Men) local communities around the MPA to undertake participatory ecological monitoring
  4. Build capacity for monitoring and surveillance of the MPA by providing the necessary equipment and infrastructure for data capture, analysis and information sharing system
  5. Review current MPA compliance and enforcement and use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) patrol software
  6. Establish and implement an enforcement mechanism to address near-border problems.

Result 2: Improved governance, communities’ participation, equity and benefit-sharing in KMMP and surrounding community-managed areas

  1. Establish and operationalize project management committee which includes the local communities
  2. Enhance capacity of local communities living around Kisite - Mpunguti MPA on effective management of the LMMAs
  3. Develop guidelines for benefit sharing targeting local communities
  4. Conduct Social Assessment of KMMMPA
  5. Training of MPA staff to enhance capacity to deal with grievances and complaints


Result 3: Enhanced knowledge management; Improved communication, education & public awareness (CEPA)

  1. Document case studies demonstrating best practices and impacts of the BIOPAMA project
  2. Publication in regional and international platforms/ newsletters/ blogs
  3. Develop and publish scientific publications platforms

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve

This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States through the BIOPAMA Programme. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of WWF-Kenya and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union nor of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.