Photos: Peter Chadwick, January Ndagala, Wetlands International, Kenya Wildlife Service and Jennifer O’leary

The Role of WIOMPAN

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) are made effective by a host of practitioners including managers, wardens, rangers, community members and others. These practitioners are faced with a multitude of different situations, issues and problems on a daily basis, often in remote locations, without easy reference to sources of information or help. There are a number of tools to help MPA practitioners share solutions and lessons that have already been developed in the WIO, including many publications and MPA toolkits. But the most valuable way to share knowledge is through peer-to-peer networking, and MPA practitioners’ networks are recognised as a cornerstone of MPA performance.                                                                 

The Western Indian Ocean Marine Protected Areas Management Network (WIOMPAN) is a network of MPA practitioners in the WIO. The Network bring together MPA practitioners from 10 countries in the WIO – Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, Somalia, Madagascar  and Reunion (France).  The Network was established to facilitate exchanges between WIO MPA practitioners to deal with common issues in different local contexts. MPAs in the WIO context include all formal marine protected and managed areas under government, communities (LMMAs) and privately managed MPAs. The Network also provides its members with:

  • Increased capacity development via training, mentorship and professional Certification.
  • A better understanding of current trends in MPA management
  • Access to up-to-date research and information pertaining to MPAs
  • An outlet for communication with other MPA professionals
  • Improved regional and global connectivity
  • Increased engagement in MPA strategy and policy development
  • Improved opportunities for career advancement

By improving the capacity of MPA practitioners across the WIO, WIOMPAN also supports management effectiveness and healthy marine ecosystems, thus helping MPAs in the WIO contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

© Celine Tanya


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Marine Protected Areas or MPAs have developed rapidly in response to the worldwide degradation of the marine environment.

We offer membership for all types of organizations or professional institutes. Just follow the steps to become a member & join the network.

The MPA network is dedicated to delivering equipping MPA managers with online skill based development training.

WIOCOMPAS is a world class certification programme that focuses on identifying & certifying leading MPA professionals.

Our Local Chapters

The WIOMPAN network is made of individual members who constitute the local chapters of the network. View the profiles of our members by clicking their respective country flags.

Our Values

MPA Community

We are a community of practice that promotes the exchange of information. We rely on network members to tell their stories, share their experiences, challenges and resources in an open and participatory manner. WIOMPAN advocates for accountability in the management of the vital coastal and marine resources whose care we are entrusted with.


WIOMPAN actions are first and foremost about promoting competence in the management of protected areas. We seek to develop the capacity, knowledge and skills of network members, provide direct support, and other measures to improve park management.



Know your MPA

WIOMPAN uses interactive Geo-spatial Technologies to help users understand the location of regional MPA’s, get the latest information on coverage, basic data on MPAs and OECMs and provides a basic inventory of benthic habitats and their conditions.