Regional Capacity Building Seminar in Nairobi, Kenya, from 21 to 23 May 2013

31 May 13

Regional Capacity Building Seminar on Sustainable Tourism Governance and Management in Coastal Areas for East Africa

From May 21 to 23, 2013, UNWTO and UNIDO organized a regional capacity building seminar in Nairobi, Kenya, on Sustainable Tourism Governance and Management in Coastal Areas. 

The training took place within the framework of the COAST (Collaborative Actions for Sustainable Tourism) project in Africa, a GEF funded project implemented by UNEP as implementing agency, UNIDO as executing agency and UNWTO as associate agency, including activities in nine countries in Africa (Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, and Tanzania).

The seminar was attended by 20 professionals from Kenya, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania, who are dealing at national or destination level with issues related to sustainable tourism governance.  A large part of the participants were representatives of the Ministries of Tourism or the Tourism Boards, and other participants came from the Ministries of Environment, Local Government Authorities, Tourism Business Associations and Knowledge Institutes.  The objective of the seminar was to create an enhanced understanding of national and local mechanisms that support sustainable tourism governance and management in coastal areas, and to exchange experience gained with the implementation of COAST project activities on sustainable tourism, eco-tourism, environmental management systems and reef and marine recreation and management.

During the seminar, ample attention was paid to the findings and recommendations of the studies undertaken by UNWTO on sustainable tourism governance and management in each of the COAST beneficiary countries. The studies had resulted in detailed country reports, which have been used to prepare a general report on mechanisms for sustainable tourism governance and management in coastal areas in Africa. Technical presentations were delivered and group exercises were carried out on the following main topics highlighted in the country studies and the general report:

  • Policy, plans and governances structures for sustainable tourism governance
  • Influencing coastal tourism development and operations, including COAST activities on environmental management systems
  • Managing coastal environments linked to tourism, including COAST activities on reef and marine recreation and management
  • Supporting community livelihoods, including COAST ecotourism projects

Based on the findings and recommendations from the country reports and the general report, UNWTO assists the COAST countries on the mainland to prepare detailed action plans on sustainable tourism governance in coastal areas. The action plans were shared and discussed during the last day of the seminar, and participants identified priority actions and agreed on the role they could play to help promote the implementation of the plans.  All participants indicated that the seminar had given them valuable ideas and information on how to help strengthen governance and management for sustainable tourism in their country, and would recommend a similar technical event to their peers. Based on the positive outcome of the seminar, UNWTO and UNIDO will organize similar regional seminars for the English speaking (Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria) and French speaking (Cameroon and Senegal) COAST countries in West Africa in Ghana in October 2013 and Senegal in November 2013 respectively.