Gazi Bay in southern Kenya has the potential to become a world-leading centre of excellence in the integration of ecosystem science and community development. Work there, led by scientists from Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute and Edinburgh Napier University, has developed Mikoko Pamoja - the world’s first community based mangrove conservation project to be funded by carbon credits. (http://www.ukcds.org.uk/the-global-impact-of-uk-research/essential-coastal-ecosystems) This proposal aims to strengthen the institutional collaboration, to involve new partners and to help realise the potential for a broader community development project that improves health and livelihoods whilst conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate impacts.

Mikoko Pamoja has successfully translated scientific work on carbon storage in mangrove forests (which are exceptionally powerful carbon stores) into practical outcomes, earning > $13,000 per year for local benefit. To develop this work further and to help ensure long term sustainability of this innovative model, we aim to: a) strengthen institutional links between the main partners and new collaborators b) incorporate new research and development on climate change and health c) develop recent research on seagrass into practical outcomes for the community d) establish the Gazi site as a regional centre of excellence providing training and inspiration for other communities in Africa.

Mikoko Pamoja earns money by selling the carbon from forest conservation and tree planting, and uses the proceeds to support community development projects in water and sanitation, education, and rehabilitation of degraded mangrove areas. Opportunities exist to diversify these carbon reduction activities. For example, most local people cook on open fires. The smoke contributes to carbon emissions and is dangerous to health. We aim to research and pilot more efficient wood stoves. If properly evaluated and integrated with the forest work this will bring additional carbon credits for sale as well as helping the local health and livelihoods of up to 4000 people. We will partner with new experts to assist with this research. The coastline hosts large seagrass beds, important for local fisheries; and our research shows that these capture and store large quantities of carbon. We will turn this research into additional opportunities for local revenue and conservation by supporting a process of community based negotiation and gazetting of these resources.

Our longer term objective is to enable similar projects at other sites within Kenya and throughout East Africa. This project will support this goal through building capacity and reputation at Gazi, bringing researchers, community leaders and NGOs together there for training and mutual exchange. The long term goal is to influence policy for the establishment of sustainable locally marine managed areas (MMA)

  • Start Date:

    1 April 2017

  • End Date:

    30 September 2018

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    British Council

  • Value:


Project Team