Western Indian Ocean LMEs – Strategic Action Programme Policy Harmonization and Institutional Reforms (SAPPHIRE) Project

Lead country


Participating countries

Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Comoros, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania

Project status

Under implementation

Implementing period

From October 24, 2017 to April 24, 2023

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards
  2. 13.2 Integrate climate change into national policies, planning

Project ID: 5262

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Technical team

  • Oceans and Water Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Sustainable management of oceans in a changing climate
  • Cross cutting governance and learning


  • Marine


  • Large marine ecosystem
  • Coasts

Transformed sector(s)

  • Fisheries
  • Tourism
  • Materials and manufacturing

UNDP role(s)

  • Capacity development / Technical assistance
  • Convening / Partnerships / Knowledge Sharing
  • Data collection and analysis


  • Governance
  • Capacity building
  • Finance economy


  • Partnerships
  • Inter-sectoral coordination
  • Participatory governance models
  • Education/Courses
  • Innovations in techniques/ approaches
  • Spatial monitoring/analysis
  • Blue economy

Social inclusion

  • Local community/CSOs
  • Women

Gender equality

  • Women decision making
  • Awareness raising (on gender)

Gender result effectiveness scale

  • Gender targeted


  • Systems pathway
  • People pathway
  • Sci-tech pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Improve resilience

SDG target(s)

  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change into national policies, planning

Conventions and protocols

  • Strategic Action Programme

Private sector(s)


Hot topic

  • Nature-based solution
  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy
  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration

About this project


This Project builds on the previous work completed under the UNDP supported GEF financed Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems (ASCLME) Project in close collaboration with a number of partners. The ASCLME Project delivered the intended regional TDA and ministerially endorsed SAP for the western Indian Ocean LMEs as well as individual Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analyses (MEDAs) for each participating country. The ASCLME Project also created the Western Indian Ocean Sustainable Ecosystem Alliance (WIOSEA). The SAPPHIRE Project aims to support and assist the appropriate and formally mandated government institutions and intergovernmental bodies in the region to implement the activities which they require in order to deliver the SAP and to ensure sustainability of efforts and actions toward long-term management of activities within the LMEs as well as the sustainability of associated institutional arrangements and partnerships. The project's activities have several cross-cutting themes, which will seek to meaningfully address progress towards meeting UNDP goals and targets with respect to sustainable development, poverty alleviation, early warning of disaster and climate change, SDGs, gender mainstreaming and youth. Throughout the implementation, the project will coordinate closely with the UNDEP GEF WIOLaB SAP project with the intention of harmonising activities and ultimately combining institutional and administrative process for a single implementation strategy for the two WIO SAPs.The overall Objectives of this Project is ‘To achieve effective long-term ecosystem management in the Western Indian Ocean LMEs in line with the Strategic Action Programme as endorsed by the participating countries'. The project has 5 Components: Component 1 represents the overarching suite of activities and deliverables in support of management and policy reforms for SAP Implementation and, as such, receives most of the funding, both from GEF and in terms of co-financing (approximately 50% in both cases). The other Components represent specific priority management and governance issues within the LMEs that need to be addressed urgently in order to deliver effective SAP Implementation through Component One.Component 2 focuses on the need for more effective community engagement in the overall management process, with an emphasis on demonstrating such engagement and involvement at the localised level, and particularly in relation to small-scale, artisanal fisheries and associated small-area management approaches.Component 3 aims to develop effective mechanisms for interaction between the maritime industrial sector and governance bodies in the development of joint management approaches within the LMEs. Component 4 will demonstrate best lessons and practices in strengthening partnerships for management of areas beyond national jurisdiction that nevertheless still fall within the LMEs and therefore have transboundary influence and implications. It will also demonstrate the integrated use of Marine Spatial Planning and the Blue Economy framework into the development of Ocean Governance and Policy, in close partnership and collaboration with the UNEP WIOLaB SAP implementation project which is also addressing marine spatial planning with an emphasis on coastal and nearshore planning. SAPPHIRE will aim to up-scale the approaches used and the lessons and best practices developed though this partnership to deliver a more LME-wide planning approach. One very important demonstration of best lessons and practices under Component 4 will be through Deliverable 4.2.1 - Demonstrating Innovative Ocean Governance Mechanisms and Delivering Best Practices and Lessons for Extended Continental Shelf Management within the Western Indian Ocean Large Marine Ecosystems. This will be managed as a ‘stand-alone' sub-project by UNDP in view of its specific, formally-agreed management arrangements through a joint Treaty between the two countries involved.Component 5 addresses the on-going needs for capacity development and the coordination of training and capacity strengthening within the region in relation to effective SAP management and implementation.


To achieve effective long-term ecosystem management in the western Indian Ocean LMEs in line with the Strategic Action programme as endorsed by the participating countries.

USD $11,276,891

Grant amount

USD $333,428,294

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Global Environment Facility – Trust Fund ($11,276,891)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Government of Mauritius

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation



Western Indian Ocean LMEs – Strategic Action Programme Policy Harmonization and Institutional Reforms (SAPPHIRE) Project