Terms of Reference Preparation and Development of a Status Report, Regional Action Plan and Roadmap on “The Blue Economy and Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region”


Global context Cities and human settlements have historically developed in coastal zones, mainly due to strategic reasons related to transport, trade or defense. Two thirds of the world’s largest megacities of over 10 million inhabitants are located in coastal zones, and most of the cities around the world are located less than 3 kilometers away from a waterbody (including rivers, lakes and wetlands). Coastal cities are dynamic, complex systems which need energy, water, food and other resources to function and support diverse activities. In September 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit adopted a new framework to guide development efforts between 2015 and 2030 titled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development”. The 2030 Agenda contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. The SDGs address social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, their interrelations, aspects related to peaceful societies and effective institutions, as well as means of implementation (finance, technology, capacity development etc.) in an integrated manner. Of the 17 Goals, SDG 11 titled “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (Sustainable Cities and Communities), also known as the ‘urban SDG’, recognizes urbanization and city growth as a transformative force for development. For the first time, an international agreement was reached by all Member States of the United Nations acknowledging sustainable urban development as a fundamental precondition for sustainable development.

The adoption of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in October 2016, and the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in November 2016, represent strong steps towards the immediate implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development at all levels. These two conferences were the first that the United Nations convened after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. They offered a unique opportunity to address how cities are planned and managed in order to fulfill their role as drivers of sustainable development and, hence, shape the implementation of the new global development and climate change goals. Cities can furthermore forge new linkages among actors, offering innovative solutions that have the potential to influence development agendas at national, regional and global levels. Urbanization also poses an opportunity for climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as resource efficiency. In order to realize this opportunity, the NUA envisages a model where all urban actors adopt and implement disaster risk reduction and management strategies, that help to reduce vulnerability, build resilience and responsiveness to natural and human-made disasters and foster mitigation of and adaptation to climate change [NUA, §13 (g)]. This vision is in line with the shared goals under the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, particularly SDG 11. In 2018, UN Environment and the International Resources Panel published a report “The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanisation” which builds a rationale for rethinking urbanisation, urban planning and resource consumption. The report also recommended eight urbanization themes: Rethinking the role of cities; Urban density; Climate impacts; Demand for resources is increasing, and so is waste output; Consumption behaviour must change; Beyond resource efficiency; The importance of urban green spaces/natural assets; Technological innovation; Urban planning and policy and Urban research Globally, recent estimates of the ratio of urban to rural dwellers is that some 55% (approximately 4.2 billion people) reside in urban areas, with this projected to grow to almost 70% by 2050. Nearly 90% of the anticipated growth in urban populations by 2050 is expected to occur in Asia and Africa. Both region’s population growth rates are expected to climb steadily up until the mid-21st century. Given their popularity and suitability for settlement and development, coastal cities in the region will absorb a great deal of the projected urban growth. As these cities grow, problems with inadequate housing, water and sanitation infrastructure are worsening and pressures on ecosystem services are increased. Lack of effective planning also increases the vulnerability of the urban poor, which is exacerbated by impacts of climate change such as flooding (storm surges and rainstorms), sea-level rise, and ground water salinization. Disaster preparedness and risk management plans are vital components required for effective climate change adaptation, and most of the cities in the region do not have the capacity and financial resources to tackle these issues effectively. The Blue Economy is an emergent policy area that is subject to on-going political discussions at the global and regional levels. in 2018, Kenya hosted the first high-level international Sustainable Blue Economy Conference. The Blue Economy seeks to promote economic growth, responsible production and consumption, social inclusion, and the preservation or improvement of livelihoods while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability of ocean and coastal, as well as other waterfront areas, through the circular economy. UN-Habitat published a report on “The Blue Economy and Cities”, highlighting the need to recognize the role that urbanization and urban planning plays in shaping the Blue Economy. This underscores the urgency of including urban policymakers in the global discussions around the Blue Economy concept. Regional Context In the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, some of the coastal cities are capitals of countries (Victoria, Seychelles; Port Louis, Mauritius and Maputo, Mozambique) and others are important hubs of trade, industry and commerce, examples of which are Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Beira and Durban. Coastal cities are the location for high levels of economic activity mainly because of their association with ports, waterfront development and well-endowed coastal and marine environment. Globally and regionally, ports are important infrastructure as they are critical to different sectors such as trade (mining, agricultural, and manufactured imports and exports), transport (ferries), tourism (ocean liners), national security (naval bases) and food security (fishing and food imports). Accelerated economic activity in the WIO countries associated with increased import and export of commodities and growing passenger transport by sea results in a strong imperative for port development within the region. Coastal and marine tourism present coastal cities for with opportunities for income, social wellbeing of its people and infrastructure development including waterfront development. Coastal cities and the region provide a range of unique attractions and recreational activities for local and international tourism. These include attractions based on vast array of habitats with remarkable natural beauty, spectacular biodiversity and rich natural resources that could be easily be accessible from these cities. Coastal cities are also a microcosm of the region’s cultural diversity with people from African, Asian, Arab and European origin, whose influence in traditions, customs and architecture of building is also another important tourist attraction. The Nairobi Convention, in collaboration with the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), produced the “Regional State of the Coast” report which was approved by the Eighth Meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP 8) to the Nairobi Convention held in 2015 in Seychelles. The Chapter on ‘Urbanisation, Coastal Development and Vulnerability, and Catchments’ several recommendations of relevance to cities and coasts are made, including encouraging and promoting robust urban planning processes that seek to reduce the dichotomy between formal governing institutions and networks of actors that provide local capacities. National urbanization policy frameworks must complement local strategies for changes to be quicker and deeper, and this includes identifying various levers by which action can be triggered and sustained. In COP 9 held in Mombasa, Kenya, countries of the region for the first time acknowledged the need to partner with UN-Habitat to address the environmental challenges and opportunities posed by rapid urbanization, especially of coastal cities in the WIO region as articulated in the SDG 11 and the NUA on sustainable cities and communities. Further, COP 9 urged Contracting Parties to consider undertaking climate change vulnerability assessments of their urban coastal areas, including of urban spatial planning processes, and to consider working towards integrating marine natural capital (Decision CP.9/9). The Nairobi Convention Secretariat was requested to collaborate with UN-Habitat and other partners to develop a regional action plan and roadmap to assist the Contracting Parties to integrate the NUA into coastal cities in the WIO region for the protection of the marine and coastal environment (Decision CP.9/13). Furthermore, countries agreed to advance Blue Economy approaches in the context of SDG 14 as a pathway for sustained incomes and economic benefits from natural blue capital including fisheries, tourism, oil and gas development, offshore renewable energy, and other maritime activities. At national levels, for example, some Contracting Parties have made progress in developing and implementing Blue Economy actions and strategies. These include Seychelles (Blue Economy), Mauritius (Ocean Economy), and South Africa (Operation Phakisa). Other countries in the region such as Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar are in the initial stages of developing blue economy frameworks and secretariats. The linkages between environment, society and economy in coastal cities are important in the countries of the WIO region, and there is a need to better understand their interdependencies, and the associated constraints to sustainable development. If managed properly cities have the potential to offer better socio-economic conditions and quality of life to residents as well as the wider context in which they are situated. The integrated adaptive management and sustainable development of coastal cities and their marine environment is therefore essential.

2. SCOPE OF WORK WIOMSA, in collaboration with UN-Habitat, would like to hire senior consultants to develop a working document on “The Blue Economy and Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region” and a “Regional Action Plan and Roadmap for the Development of the Blue Economy in Coastal Cities”. These documents will be presented in a regional meeting to be held in December 2019. In executing the assignment, the consultant will work closely with UN-Habitat staff in Nairobi, WIOMSA and others as deemed appropriate and necessary. The consultant will undertake the following specific tasks: i) Preparation of a status report titled “The Blue Economy and Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region” for the regional meeting to held in December 2019. The document will focus on: a. Providing an overview of existing/new social, economic and environmental opportunities and challenges that WIO cities face b. Review legal and institutional frameworks relevant to the management of cities c. Incorporate comments from the regional meeting in December 2019 and others and finalize the status report “The Blue Economy and Coastal Cities of the Western Indian Ocean Region” ii) Develop a “Regional Action Plan and Roadmap for the Development of the Blue Economy in Coastal Cities”

iii) Present the draft of the Regional Action Plan and Roadmap and working document at the regional meeting to be organized in December 2019 iv) Facilitate sessions and discussions at the regional meeting v) Synthesis meeting report that captures the key findings, concerns, inputs and relevant recommendations vi) Incorporate the comments and inputs from the meeting, and revise and submit the final Action Plan.


The study will focus on the nine WIO countries (Comoro, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa). The consultant is expected to conduct desk research as well as use face-to-face interviews, Skype interviews and online questionnaires to collect information for the assignment. S/he is expected to visit three countries (preferably two mainland countries and one island state) for in-depth research and data collection.


This consultancy has the following distinct deliverables: ▪ An inception report outlining the work plan for delivery of the outputs of the consultancy ▪ A comprehensive status report (based on scientific data, assessments, plan and policy reviews, with case studies/examples addressing the different themes around the opportunities and challenges) of no more than 50 pages (single spacing); ▪ A draft Regional Action Plan and Roadmap ▪ Meeting proceedings ▪ A final Regional Action Plan and Roadmap ▪ Complete electronic copies of all source documents.


A total of 50 working days to carry out this assignment between 21st October 2019 and 31st December 2019.


The assignment will be undertaken by a team of at least two experts drawn from the urban planning fraternity and marine science fraternity. The experts shall have the following qualifications and experience: ▪ Academic qualifications: Advanced university degree (MSc or PhD in a) urban planning, urban environment and b) marine scientist and other related disciplines relevant to the assignment ▪ Professional experience: At least 7 years of work experience related to the above disciplines; published researchers in double-peer reviewed journals will be given preference ▪ Language skills: Working knowledge of English. Working knowledge of French is an asset.


The consultant will prepare and submit: - A technical proposal giving details on the available expertise and plan of work to achieve the deliverables - A financial proposal giving a cost estimation for achieving the objectives of this project. The deadline for submission of the bid is the 27 th September 2019. Tenders should be submitted electronically to and

Source: WIOMSA

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.  

Deadline/closing date: 
Friday, September 27, 2019