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Watamu Marine Park and Reserve Status as International Biosphere Area Renewed

Malindi Watamu National Marine Park and Reserve's status has been renewed as an International UNESCO Designated Biosphere Area.

Watamu Marine Park and Reserve deserves extra protection, its official! Assisted by representations from Watamu Marine Association members including A Rocha Kenya WMA's chair Justin Kitsao representing the Malindi Watamu area argued for a renewal of its internationally protected status.

Justin lobbied UNESCO in Tanzania last year and campaigned to extend the protected area to Arabuko Sokoke Forest. UNESCO deliberated for almost a year and finally granted the extension, although the Forest is still being deliberated on.

Since 1968 Malindi Watamu Marine Park and Reserve has been protected nationally, as a home for sea turtles, whales, dolphins, coral reefs and an abundance of fish life. Not forgetting Mida Creek and the vital role it plays as a nursery for marine life and hundreds of species of birds. Most certainly Watamu is an important area ecologically.

Watamu Marine Association worked together with Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service and in mid September 2015 were involved in final handing over the management manual for UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Africa Justin Kitsao represented Malindi Watamu Biosphere reserve in Dar e Salaam in Tanzania who developed the document. Hosted by Turtle Bay Beach Club.

Thanks also to help and support from Biosphere Twin North Devon Biosphere Sharing experiences and understanding is an important function for the worldwide Biosphere Reserve network.
"North Devon's Biosphere Reserve has twinned with Malindi-Watamu Biosphere Reserve in Kenya so we can learn from one another about how to adapt to a world of climate change, sea level rise and coastal erosion. The intention is to twin the communities not just the co-ordinators or management groups. Respresentatives from Malindi have visted North Devon and vice-versa"

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