|Eastern Africa coastal forest programme – regional workshop report, Nairobi, February 4-7 2002|
Younge, A. (2002). Eastern Africa coastal forest programme – regional workshop report, Nairobi, February 4-7 2002. WWF-EARPO: Nairobi. 123 pp.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has singled out the Eastern African Coastal forest for conservation because of its richness in biodiversity, because it is one of Africa’s centres of endemism, and due to the intense threats to the survival of forest habitats in the area. Threats to the Eastern African Coastal Forests are and continue to be linked to conversion to farmland, fragmentation, settlement, changes in land-use patterns and lack of effective and integrated policies, coupled with inadequate / ineffective management structures. Current forest destruction trends are impacting on a wide range of terrestrial and marine resources in the three countries covered under the programme. For example, the sustainable production potentials and the services they provide to the local livelihoods continue to decline. WWF’s commitment to addressing these threats is manifested by its past and current projects in Kenya (Kaya forest project in collaboration with NMK and most recently with the Ford Foundation), Tanzania (Lowland Coastal Forest Project) and in Mozambique (Bazzaruto National Park). Two major lessons have been learned from these projects. First, conservation interventions require active support from political institutions, local communities and forest management authorities. Secondly, coastal forest conservation and sustainable management problems require an integrated approach involving partnership building between local and central government, private sector and donors institutions through short and long-term landscape level approaches. In order to address these issues effectively, it was felt that conservation of the Eastern African Coastal Forests should happen within a coherent framework, developed with partners and stakeholders. Short-term approaches would aim at addressing sustainable management and conservation issues through scaled-up project activities in to a programme. Long-term approaches would aim at addressing socio-economic problems impacting on rural livelihoods and biodiversity, national and trans-boundary policy issues and mechanisms for a sustainable financing system. In order to initiate the regional partnership-based coastal forest programme, WWF Eastern African Regional Programme Office (WWF-EARPO) held a workshop with stakeholders from Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania in February 2002. This report contains the findings of that workshop.