Marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services are degraded in many areas worldwide due to human interference resulting from fishing, tourism, pollution, and mining. Guidelines for an evidence-based, participatory and community-led management approach ‘Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA)’ provides a planning and strategic approach to development of coastal cities and implementing Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Here we take note of the existing references of case studies that shows successful implementation in Fiji, Kenya and other countries in Asia and Africa. LMMA approach integrates concerns about the current state of degradation and ensures that ecological services of these resource systems are sustainably managed in the future by community driven efforts; with aspects of food security, resource conservation, local employment and income of local fishers and tourism operators embedded. We focus on an empirical assessment initiated though a collaborative effort to outline and set up guidelines for establishing a LMMA network for Inhambane, Mozambique in discussion with stakeholders (fishermen, tourism operators, private and community actors, and selected government officials). An outcome from the study was disseminated to local authorities to ensure that solutions for managing degradation coastal and marine ecosystems could be placed on priority as planning for implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 and for creating coastal cities as sustainable economic hubs and resilient coastal communities.