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Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve

By Ndugu Abisai

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve has been added to the prestigious list of marine Blue Parks becoming the 21st marine conservancy in the world to achieve the status. The Blue Parks is and initiative by the Marine Conservation Institute  that encourages a global ocean refuge system to safeguard biodiversity in at least 30% of the ocean. Blue Park Awards recognize outstanding marine protected areas (MPAs), and the Blue Park criteria provide a science-based standard for marine conservation effectiveness. Marine life across the world is currently under a great threat as only 3%of the oceans are under deliberate active protection.  

Kisite-Mpunguti now becomes the second marine park in Africa after Chumbe Islands is Zanzibar to be recognized by the global organization.

A Senior Scientist and Director of the Blue Parks initiative, Dr. Sarah Hameed said, “I look forward to working with the Kenya Wildlife Service and its partners to share the story of this extraordinary new Blue Park is and how well it serves its local communities and visitors. We hope that Kisite-Mpunguti becomes an MPA that others in East Africa are modeled after as it truly protects this unique place.”

Celebrating the award, Paul Wambi, the park’s warden said, “We are delighted that Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve has been designated a Blue Park. As Kenya Wildlife Service, we would like to thank all our dedicated staff, local community, and partners for making Kisite-Mpunguti a beacon of hope for marine conservation. This award only serves as motivation for us to work even harder to make Kisite-Mpunguti a sustainable MPA that benefits both nature and humanity.”

This recognition further affirms the Kenya Wildlife Services efforts to conserve and protect wildlife within the Kenyan borders as the government agency in charge of the same. This fete has been achieved through collaboration by various stakeholders and players in the sector, advocacy, community engagement and regulatory enforcement. It further reinforces its commitment to working towards achieving SDG 14: Life Below Water.

On his congratulatory message to Kisite-Mpunguti on the award, the Marine Conservation Institute President, Dr. Lance Morgan said, “We are excited to see new Blue Park designations accelerating the protection of the most important places in our oceans. Kisite-Mpunguti is a perfect example of an important and richly biodiverse place to protect while at the same time providing local communities with food. It is the first Blue Park award in Kenya which has a coastal area that supports so much important marine biodiversity.”

The park protects distinctive ecosystems including, mangroves, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs. These ecosystems are home to marine mammals, fish, seabirds, and sea turtles. It has been recognized as an Important Bird Area by Bird Life as it provides an important remote breeding area for birds. 

For more information on how you can be part of the conservation initiatives, you can reach the following contacts and help Kisite-Mpunguti bring more glory to the region. 

Contacts:

Sarah Hameed

Senior Scientist & Director of Blue Parks

Marine Conservation Institute, USA

Sarah.Hameed@marine-conservation.org

+1 707 570 7843 cell

Paul Wambi, 

Park Warden Kisite-Mpunguti 

Kenyan Wildlife Service

powambi@kws.go.ke

Samuel Tokore

Senior Assistant Director Coast Conservation Area

Kenyan Wildlife Service

stokore@kws.go.ke