Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

Sign up for WIOMSA Membership


Photo Credit: Ian Bryceson

Assessing City Performance

WIOMSA, together with the UN-Habitat, initiated the Global Urban Monitoring Framework (UMF) project for two Western Indian Ocean Coastal Cities- Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, following a meeting held in Nairobi in 2019 and attended by UN-Habitat. The discussions focused on piloting the SDG indicators’ framework focusing on SDG 11, which would form the baseline for monitoring and reporting of urban data in a select number of coastal cities. The Global Urban Monitoring Framework (UMF) serves as a cohesive structure designed to assess urban progress across vital aspects of sustainability. It was developed as a component of the UN System-wide Strategy on sustainable urbanisation for use in monitoring Sustainable Development Goals and other urban programs. Comprising a diverse range of metrics, the UMF guides stakeholders in evaluating the progress of cities and urban areas by indicators, domains, and city objectives against other cities globally

Implementation of the framework in Dar es Salaam and Mombasa aimed to develop baseline UMF databases to portray snapshots of the cities’ performance. This was done through multi stakeholder processes that drew actors from the government, private sector, civil society, and non-state organisations to apply data in urban diagnosis in each of the cities. The process further included calculating different indicators, identifying gaps, and outlining policy recommendations specific to the cities to act as an exemplar for coastal cities interested in applying the UMF to monitor their performance. With support from WIOMSA, the UN Habitat has published two reports that showcase the key results stemming from the pilot implementation of the framework in the two cities. The publications present comprehensive analyses of the urban performances of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam.

Measuring Climate Risks in East Africa’s Coastal Cities

WIOMSA in partnership with the Stimson Center released a new report on “Measuring Multidimensional Climate Risks in East Africa’s Coastal Cities,” with case studies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Mombasa, Kenya. The report provides a detailed assessment of how climate change is impacting East Africa’s coastal cities, with studies in Dar es Salaam and Mombasa. The report findings are based on 100 surveys and 70 expert interviews. It provides decision makers with a holistic risk picture to help them prioritize action. Both the Mombasa and Dar es Salaam risk profiles showcase how urbanization and climate change are combining to increase vulnerability across the cityscape and provide detailed recommendations to help decision makers balance economic development in coastal cities with the natural environment, all while building resilience to the growing threat posed by climate change.

Supporting the development of Climate Policy for Coastal Cities

The project “Smart and sustainable transitioning for coastal cities in the face of global change: Prototyping transdisciplinary network for peer-to-peer learning for Mombasa and Durban”, facilitated the establishment of the Mombasa Smart Sustainable City Forum (MSCF). The MSCF is a multi-stakeholder mechanism and a framework for the enhancement of collaboration through dialogue, effective communication among stakeholders, multilateral actions between stakeholders and promoting public participation and transparent information sharing systems. Representatives from national, county, private and community organizations working on a variety of issues, including plastic and solid waste, natural capital, river management, climate action in transportation and port city planning, attend the forum. One of the major achievements of the forum was its contribution to the development of the climatechange and adaptation policy for Mombasa County 2021, the goal of which is to provide an enabling environment for transforming Mombasa County towards climate-resilient development.

Sustainable coastal cities and blue economy

During the Nairobi Convention’s ninth Conference of Parties, its Secretariat was requested to work with UN-Habitat and other partners to develop a regional action plan and roadmap to assist contracting parties to integrate the New Urban Agenda into coastal cities in the western Indian Ocean region, for the protection of the marine and coastal environment (Decision CP.9/13). WIOMSA, in collaboration with UN-Habitat, commissioned the production of a portfolio of six reports in response to the COP 9 decision, to provide a better understanding of the local challenges and opportunities faced by coastal cities in the region, and to support the future development of an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive roadmap for the blue economy. Access the Blue Economy reports below

    1. Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region and the Blue Economy: Status Report
    2. Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region and the Blue Economy: Case Study – Port Louis
    3. Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region and the Blue Economy: Case Study – Mombasa
    4. Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region and the Blue Economy: Case Study – Dar es Salaam
    5. Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region and the Blue Economy: Case Study – Kilifi
    6. Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region and the Blue Economy: Strategic Roadmap