IECN supports the Goverment of Djibouti in developing a Marine Protected Areas (MPA) project

The Republic of Djibouti is a small coastal country in the Horn of Africa, with a total area of 23,200 km2, a coastline of 372 km and, within a maritime territory area of 7,200 km². Djibouti's economy is largely dependent on its service sector (76.3% of GDP) connected with the country's strategic location as a deep-water port at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Over the last years, led by the vision to turn the country into a platform for commercial and logistics services for the Horn of Africa, the Government has started to undertake vast projects for the development of port, rail and road infrastructure, aimed at facilitating and increasing access to markets in the region.

While the Government of Djibouti has made investments to protect some of its unique and biodiversity rich marine habitats, these achievements risk to become precarious given the magnitude and speed of new developments of port infrastructure in Djibouti, most notably in the Gulfs of Tadjourah and Ghoubet. There are major risks associated with the new shipping routes and increased traffic of oil tankers and other ships transporting noxious substances through this vulnerable environment.  

This GEF project therefore has the objective to Enhance the resilience of Djibouti’s marine biodiversity through increasing institutional capacity, enhancing financial sustainability and management effectiveness of the MPA system, and mainstreaming marine biodiversity into key maritime sectors’ development”.  The project Objective will be achieved through implementation of three technical project components that address the key barriers identified for effective MPA and marine ecosystem services management. Component 1 Strengthening the effectiveness of Djibouti’s MPA system through enhanced capacity of all stakeholders, including dialogue to mainstream biodiversity into maritime sectors; Component 2Expanding the national MPA network and strengthening MPA management at site level and Component 3 Sustainable financing mechanism for marine biodiversity and protected areas. Component 4 Gender Mainstreaming, Knowledge Management, and M&E specifically addresses the special GEF 6 focus on addressing Gender.