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By Jacob Munoru

Traditional African cultural practices, previously regarded as inferior or incompetent, are increasingly gaining recognition as an important component of existing conservation strategies.

Local communities attach great value to traditional cultural practices, it is therefore apparent that official recognition of these practices will be an important factor complementing the current conservation knowledge.

Cultural factors can influence and regulate people’s behaviour towards forests or tree species and their habitats for instance among the Mt Kenya communities the Mugumo tree is considered sacred and traditional dwelling places for the Gods in some Kenyan communities are on the steep slopes of hills and mountains which are considered sacred, such beliefs and practices result in the preservation of these areas and act as important drivers of environmental change.

Traditional cultural practices among other strategies have promising potential to enhance sustainable resource use and conservation, therefore, realizing the desire for ecological and social sustainability.

Despite concerted conservation efforts, a considerable number of species is threatened with extinction mainly because of anthropogenic impacts such as deforestation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, the introduction of new exotic species and pollution.

Promotion of the use of cultural management knowledge coincides well with the philosophy of co-management approach that advocates sharing of power, rights, and responsibilities between the state and local resource users.

This argument is centred on the management capabilities of local communities and possible dangers of disregarding them. The fact that the communities have regular interactions and are more familiar with the resources in their environment than other potential actors makes them one of the best managers of the resource, who could contribute effectively to current conservation efforts.

Local communities understand the source of the water and for how long this resource can last if properly and efficiently utilized, and how to avoid acute shortages as is the case in our country now.

Traditional African cultural practices oversee and enforce community rules/regulations or taboos that when enforced, they act as a supreme court with the final say on all forest conservation matters. Their conservation role is still evident in some areas for example in Meru, the council of elders Njuri Ncheke shrine bushes, forests or woodlots and streams are well preserved, they act as carbon sinks in the areas where they are found therefore checking on pollution and global warming.

This has remained true despite cultural practices being marginalized by modern management systems and cultural dilution caused by immigration, formal education, and adaptation of modern religions.

Both colonial and post-colonial conservation policies ignored the potential role of traditional African cultural practices in contributing to conservation goals. Factors such as rapid population increase, inadequate local support for conservation policies, limited strategies for survival among the local communities and inadequate capacity of the government to fund law enforcement operations against illegal activities subject our forests to unsustainable use.

Our policymakers should, therefore, accord greater attention to traditional institutions so that local people’s conservation role is fairly acknowledged and potential synergies with conservation objectives realized.

The national and county governments should reward traditional people for sustainable conservation practices observed through their institutions and sensitize policy makers to include traditional conservation practices in conservation Agenda.

The practices both modern Silvicultural forest Management principles and the African traditional cultural practices in conservation are one of multiple strategies for complementing rather than replacing existing central management systems.

The Pan African Climate Change Alliance has just concluded stakeholder consultations on climate advocacy and inputs into national and regional strategic climate change processes as well as an organisation capacity assessment that was conducted on our chapters in eight countries.

The PACJA team visited chapters in Ethiopia, Botswana, Gabon, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, and Zambia.

The move by PACJA is aimed at creating strong pillars in countries hosting Regional Economic Integration Communities (RECs) and Pan African Institutions to ensure consistent and sustainable outreach, where civil society and communities at the frontline of climate change impacts play proactive role.

In its strategic Plan 2016 -- 2020, PACJA has identified the African Union and other key Pan African Institutions, UN Agencies in Africa, together with Regional Economic Integration Communities (RECs) as key inter-governmental continental actors to engage, lobby and/or support in its ambitious vision for a an inclusive, pro-poor, people-centred, equitable, climate-resilient low-carbon development pathways. 

The organisation assessment was aimed at strengthening the capacities of National Platforms and creating linkages with governments and countries hosting the headquarters of these institutions.

PACJA is a continental coalition of Civil Society Organizations from diverse backgrounds in Africa. 

Founded in 2008, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has emerged as the most vibrant and largest Civil Society platform in climate change and sustainable development, with a membership of more than 1000 organizations and networks.

The Alliance brings together Faith-based Organizations, Community-based organizations, Non-Governmental organizations, Trusts, Foundations, Farmers and Pastoralist Groups among other sectors.

By Jacob Munoru

Every few years, the issue of deforestation and illegal logging comes up in the news, and then dies a natural death, buried under other more ‘important’ issues until it comes back up sooner or later.

I was alerted to the resurgence of this issue after I came across an online petition by conservationists seeking to stop the legal felling of trees in the Mt Kenya forest.

The conservationists, who have so far garnered 3,398 signatures according to a brief on the Daily Nation (Thursday, January 18), want the Kenya Forest Service to stop the logging and conserve the forest.

At the same time, the Sengwer community that lives in Embobut Forest is facing eviction from their homes in the name of forest conservation, with the ongoing conflict between the Kenya Forest Service officers and the community members allegedly resulting in the death of a herder on Wednesday.

The question therefore begs, is there a way to conserve forests while still benefiting from the resource and securing the homes of forest-dwelling communities?

Many of the world’s forests and woodlots mainly in the tropics and subtropics (read Africa or East Africa to be precise) are not managed sustainably. Most countries in the region lack appropriate forest policies, legislation, institutional framework and incentives to promote sustainable forest management.

Where forest management plans exist, they are limited to ensuring the sustainable production of wood, without paying attention to the many other products and services that forests offer. Alternative land uses like Agriculture and Real estate developments seems to be financially more attractive in the short run than forest management, motivating deforestation and land use changes. The World Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), helps to identify, test and promote innovative, multipurpose forest management approaches and techniques that respond to mitigating and adapting to a changing climate.

Sustainable forest management means environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of forests for present and future generations. Sustainable forest management addresses forest degradation and deforestation while increasing direct benefits to people and environment. At the social level, sustainable forest management contributes to livelihoods, income generation, and employment. At the environmental level, it contributes to important services such as carbon sequestration (carbon sinks) and water, soil and biodiversity conservation. Managing forests sustainably means increasing their benefits, including timber, food and medicine to meet society needs in a way that conserves maintaining the forest ecosystem as well as climate change mainstreaming for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Good forest conservation management promotes climate change mainstreaming. Forests play a crucial role in the Hydrological cycle, influencing the availability of water, regulating surface and groundwater flows and maintaining high water quality. Forest and trees, in general, reduce water-related risks such as landslides, local floods and droughts and help prevent desertification and salinization.

Our country’s tree cover is below 10 per cent, hence the many adverse effects of climate change like floods, droughts, repetitive crop failures for many years, unreliable rainfall patterns and amounts, ice caps disappearing from our high mountains and frequent outbreaks of both human and livestock diseases- but- our government has set a good target of increasing the forest cover to reach 10 per cent within the soonest time possible. To the general public and all stakeholders ( CSOs, Bilateral and Multilateral partners ) concerted efforts should be in place to help in attaining the 10 per cent forest cover to arrest the negative effects of climate change via the practice of sustainable forest management.

Sustainable forest management and climate change mainstreaming are evolving processes and the parameters defining them change over time based on latest scientific knowledge and societies understanding of the concepts. Forest ecosystems are complex and influenced by numerous external factors; also different regions of the world require different sustainable strategies; therefore the criteria for sustainable forest management must constantly adapt to new circumstances, as well as social, economic, political, cultural and spiritual dimensions. Climate change mainstreaming is essential to address the serious effects of climate change which affect Man and the environments in the world mainly due to anthropogenic reasons.

Our hope of securing the environment while still benefiting from our forest resources therefore lies in formulating policies and strategies that are appropriate for our region and country and are socially acceptable so that communities are not disenfrinchised and our environment is not completely destroyed.

About the Author: Jacob Munoru is a Forest Management Expert working with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility project at the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance

This article was first published on the Daily Nation

PEMBA, Zambia (PAMACC News) - Grace Moonga harvested 115 by 50 Kg bags of maize last season. And it was enough for family food consumption and sale for income generation to support her second year University student son.

But she is afraid that this year’s farming season is turning out negative—a prolonged dry spell affecting her 3-hectare maize field.

“Just look at this crop,” lamentsMoonga, pointing at her severely wilted crop. “It has been 22 days since it last rained here. This is a serious disaster for a widow like me whose only source of income is farming, I don’t even know what will become of my son at the University.”

Since 2007 when her husband died, Moonga has been supporting her six children through smallholder farming. So far, her firstborn son has completed his teaching course, while the university student was only in primary five when his father died.

However, dependency on rainfall is increasingly becoming a risky business for smallholder farmers as erratic rainfall punctuated with prolonged dry spells has become the norm rather than an exception. For instance, the 2015/16 farming season was characterized by the El Nino induced drought. While 2016/17 season restored some hope with normal to above normal rainfall, the 2017/18 season is turning out negative—a prolonged dry spell which according to the Zambia Meteorological Department, has caused substantial moisture deficits and an increased likelihood for adverse crop production.

According to Zambia Meteorological Department, the prolonged dry spell being experienced over Lusaka, Southern, Western and Southern parts of Central and Eastern Provinces have been largely due to atmospheric systems – the consecutive occurrence of deep low-pressure systems and tropical cyclones over the Mozambique channel and the Indian ocean.

Unfortunately, the forecast up to March 2018 remains negative as abnormal dryness has strengthened and expanded, placing additional moisture stress on crops, especially at critical stages of growth.

Nevertheless, good as this forecast may be, it largely remains generic and scientific for smallholder farmers to easily interpret. It is for this reason that climate change development actors have been advocating for improved climate information and other climate-resilient services such as insurance for smallholder farmers.

In Zambia, one such institution working in this area is the World Food Programme (WFP). Under its R4—Rural Resilience Initiative, WFP has installed automated and manual weather stations in selected project areas to facilitate improved meteorological information for smallholder farmers.

Mosco Hamalambo is a trained rain gauge attendant at Sibajene village, one of the 20 manual rain gauge stations dotted around Pemba district. He believes the weather stations have improved farmers’ knowledge especially on the time to plant.

“With this facility, we now have readily available information when we should plant our crops,” Hamalambo told PAMACC News. “Even as we are experiencing this dry spell, we have the information on how much rainfall we have received and how poorly distributed it has been.”

Hamalambosays such information is helpful for comparison with satellite data on which weather index insurance is based—another component of the R4 project where farmers are enrolled for a possible pay-out if they do not receive required amounts of rainfall in a set and agreed window of the farming season.

In terms of amounts of rainfall, 400 mm of rainfall received in the area is enough for optimum production of maize according to Stanley Ndhlovu,

WFP Zambia R4 Coordinator. However, “the challenge has been distribution, it has been very erratic.”It is however not yet clear whether the index would trigger for a pay-out. Close to 4000 farmers are enrolled on the R4 project weather index insurance scheme. 
In the meantime, Grace Moonga is hoping and praying for some heavy downpour as she still believes something could be salvaged from her wilted crop—thanks to Conservation Agriculture (CA) which she practices. Under CA, minimum tillage and mulching practices help to retain moisture for crops to withstand prolonged dry spells.

Considering the elongated dry spell experienced, Moonga knows that what could be salvaged would still not be enough, hence placing her last hope in weather insurance. “From what we were taught about how this insurance works, I am hopeful that we might receive a pay-out this year,” she says enthusiastically.

Citizens of Africa have been urged to take advantage of investment opportunities that accompany climate action to earn some money and lift their people from poverty.
 
Secretary-General of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Mithika Mwenda, has noted that the renewable energy revolution currently being witnessed in the world provides affordable access to energy to people who would otherwise not have access.
 
He noted that renewable energy has also aided in the reduction of emissions, thus contributing to the attainment of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ambitions of countries. 
 
“We are witnessing renewable energy revolution and in Africa and the rest of the world, this is an explosive sector,” observed Mithika. “We need to take advantage of the investment opportunities coming with climate action; there are a lot of resources in this to help address poverty”. 
 
At the COP21 climate talks which produced the Paris Agreement, the G7 committed to allocate US$10 billion into the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).
 
Though there are concerns with delivering the promise, the Initiative, in its current design, will help cure chronic energy poverty by supporting decentralized, modern, off-grid and people-owned energy systems not only for lighting, but also cooking, driving smallholder agribusiness and charging mobile phones. 
 
Mithika added that green energy has helped save lives by reducing indoor pollution.
 
Fossil fuel vs. renewable energy economies
 
Mithika Mwenda was addressing an event on low-carbon and climate-resilient development, held on the sidelines of the 2018 African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 
 
Most African countries do not contribute any significant amount of greenhouse gases but there are commitments in their NDCs to ensure that their development pathways are carbon neutral.
 
In a climate-constrained world, investment in fossil fuel-based energy sources no longer makes sense. 
 
But Africa faces the dilemma of whether to rapidly revert to renewable energy, have a mix of both fossil fuels and renewables, or ignore the global call and continue in the unsustainable model of development pursued by industrialized countries which brought the climate crisis.
 
What is evident, though, is the fact that the global community has shifted. 
 
This shift should make African countries re-think their priority energy sources and investment in oil and in some instances coal, as it may not make economic sense in the long-run. 
 
The Addis Ababa side-event, attended by climate actors from across the continent, is organized strategically to get African leaders to focus attention on climate change issues.
 
As the first Pan African convention after the COP23, the event offered an opportunity to exchange ideas and reflect on Africa’s victories during the Bonn Climate Change Conference, with a view of charting a collective path towards subsequent Global Dialogue processes on the subject.
 
“This gives us the platform to develop common African narratives that will have impact on the global stage,” said James Murombedzi, Officer-in-Charge of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
 
Moving along the development pathway
 
Climate change is no longer discussed as a limited environmental or scientific matter but as a development issue.
 
African civil society therefore looks forward to leaders moving from the rhetoric to taking real action on the ground.
 
“The momentum for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the NDCs is picking up, but the question is: are we moving with that pace in Africa?” queried Mithika.
 
Some countries on the continent have developed very effective policy and legal frameworks to facilitate the implementation in the areas of transparency, adaptation, loss and damage, among others.
 
But there are others stuck on bureaucracies to push the climate agenda forward.
 
“We need to think broader about what is the impact of climate change on development. What does it mean for agriculture? What does it mean for energy, for infrastructure? So we are really talking about development,” said Mithika.
 
He believes that the ClimDev-Africa programme can rally the African continent around in mobilizing action and “we need to ensure that critical centres that support the livelihoods of the African people and which are weather sensitive like agriculture are created”.
 
The Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme is an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), established to create a solid foundation for Africa’s response to climate change.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance in conjunction with Oxfam will tomorrow (Wednesday) hold a side event on low-carbon climate-resilient development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, just five days before the 2018 African Union Summit is held in the same city.

The meeting that will bring together experts and members of civil societies from Africa will be policy dialogue forum with various sectoral or thematic segments that will broadly reflect on the COP23 outcomes and particularly interrogate whether the decisions of the African Union-Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) were captured in the final outcomes of the Bonn Conference.

The meeting will be organised into segments during which participants will discuss actions that could take the continent forward in matters climate justice and the upcoming COP in Poland in December this year.

The participants will further propose issues that could be discussed during subsequent consultations across the continent.

This policy dialogue will help set the agenda for future energy-driven discussions, particularly the upcoming global review of SDG7 to be held in February 2018 in Bangkok, as well as setting priorities for engagement with the 2018 AfDB annual meeting to be held in Busan, South Korea among other climate change processes.

In addition to the above, the meeting will discuss the Climate Change for Development Africa Conference (CCDA-VII) that is set to be held this year.

CCDA-VII brings together various stakeholders – governments, civil society, businesses and development partners to discuss issues to do with climate change and development of the continent.

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance Secretary General Mithika Mwenda has been elected vice chairman of the Institutional Collaboration Platform (ICP) of the Climate Research for Development (CR4D) in Africa.

The CR4D in Africa Platform is an Africa-led initiative that was launched to strengthen links between climate science research and climate information needs in support development planning in Africa.

It was the outcome of the African Climate Conference 2013 that was held in Arusha, Tanzania, which brought together more than 300 participants drawn from top African climate scientists, policymakers, climate service providers, and practitioners to discuss the state of African Climate science and existing gaps in climate knowledge.

Participants at the ACC-2013 recommended the establishment of an African Climate Research Agenda for Climate Services and Development in order to advance new frontiers of African climate research, focusing on four priority areas of Creation of co-designed multi-disciplinary research to improve forecast skills and reliability, Filling gaps in multi-sectorial and multi-disciplinary data sets for sector-specific vulnerability and impacts assessments, Enhancing Africa’s scientific and institutional capacities and networks to undertake cutting edge user-drive climate research and Fostering effective collaboration and interactions among climate science, services, policy, and practice communities in order to improve mainstreaming of climate services in decision-making. 

The initiative is supported by partnership between African Climate Policy Center (ACPC) of UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), with the ACPC providing Secretariat services. 

 

 Jenniffer Kalunda, a 36-year-old farmer from Mathiakani in Kitui County is expecting a bumper yield in the next rainy season after adopting climate change adaptation practices taught by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.

According to Mrs Kalunda, she decided to follow the advice on early farm preperation, soil and water conservation technology by digging terraces, and crop diversification.

The mother of four told our field officers that during the dry season she works at a nearby quarry, adding that she hopes the interventions will yield more produce for her family and for sale to her neighbours.

She noted that she had experienced the impacts of climate change and thanked PACJA for organising the Community training on Climate Change Adaptation, Natural Resource Management and Agricultural production that she believes will enable her to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Person: Mr. Kitali Wendo

Partners: DAI-DFID

Region: Africa

Country: Kenya

Project Goal: Towards Enhanced Climate Change Governance in Kenya

About the Project

This project seeks to promote effective climate change governance in Kenya through coordination among civil societies to engage and advocate for a transparent, accountable, participatory climate change governance process. This will be possible when civil society explores ways to work together on thematic issues within climate change and the capacity of thematic working groups is built to meaningfully collaborate under the newly enacted Climate Change Act 2016 regime.

This will be realized through the inclusive participation of all stakeholders based on a complementary approach to support the government led climate change processes. The approach will be based on improved and enhanced CSO capacity to comprehensively engage and provide stakeholder-informed interventions through an enhanced participatory role.

Strengthened CSO thematic working groups provide informed input, technical review papers, and information on climate change processes including government-led climate change interventions with the participation of CSOs.

The strategy empowers CSOs to participate in governance and their own development by addressing climate change gaps within governance processes as well as enhancing CSO capacity to effectively engage, while at the same time offering informed perspectives that complement government’s work through enhanced participation.

GEOGRAPHICAL SCOPE

The project covers a national scope.

OBJECTIVES

  • To catalyse and facilitate civil society and broader citizen participation in the implementation of the National Climate Change Act, 2016, review of the National Climate Change Action Plan (2018-2022), Implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions and Influence the National Climate Change Council
  • To track and monitor climate financing to ensure National Budget allocated for climate change and other climate finance streams meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities at the frontline of climate change impacts.
  • To solidify gains achieved in the coordination of diverse groups aimed at consolidating a unified civil society voice in national climate change policy dialogues and interventions (This means consolidating the fragmented CSO efforts in the climate change space for unified and impactful interventions. 

EXPECTED OUTCOME

  • Strengthened civil society for improved engagement in climate change governance in Kenya

For feedback or grievances regarding this project, kindly use the email addresses and phone numbers below:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone Number: 0711518181

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Phone Number: 0711503070

You can download our complaints and feedback mechanism procedure here

GAZI BAY, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Putting on gumboots and armed with clubs and machetes, Hassam Bakari, 44, a forest guard in Makongeni mangrove fishing village at Gazi Bay along Kenya’s coastline slashes through a thick canopy, making his way along a trail of mixed shrub trees in swamps.

Hassam is among over 400 community members of the Mikoko Pamoja (in Swahili meaning Mangroves Together) project driving the expansion of Kenya’s first blue carbon credit scheme, providing multiple income generating activities and fighting climate change in the region.

“We now protect this area day and night because the livelihood and future of our children depends on these mangroves,” Hassam said during a visit of researchers and environment experts to the mangrove restoration project in the run up to the UN Environment General Assembly on December 2, 2017.

Like Hassam, the people of this coastal community say they are giving their all to make the mangrove restoration project a global reference, but for lack of financial means the impetus for expansion and protection is coming from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), via the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP.

According to Anne Wanjoru, Social impact officer of Mikoko Pamoja, the expansion of the mangrove restoration project had become necessary following increasing acceptance of the population to engage fully in the project.

“The population are now willing to voluntarily participate and this is driving the expansion and protection scheme of the project, “Anne said.
The expansion phase of the project that started in 2015 with funding of 100.000 dollars from GEF via

UNEP has seen the acres of the mangrove forest of Mikoko Pamoja increase by 117 bringing the total size of mangroves in Makonzeni, Gazi and Chale to 615 acres.

For the local population this means more income not only from a surging carbon credit sales, but also a multiplication of income generating activities.

“We are getting more and more tourists, scientists, researchers visiting and this means big markets for our fish, handicraft, restaurant business and improved income for the population,” says Jesphat Mmtwan the project coordinator.

The new community plan of action is not only limited to expansion. Efforts at protection have more than double. Every household in the community sends representatives to act as forest guards.

“We are one family here and need to protect what we have toiled to put together,” said Mohamed Ardi, another fisher man and trader in Gazi bay.

A tower of over 40 meters high has been constructed to permit community forest guards have an overview of the area against invaders while a 450 meters broad walk also set up not only to permit tourists and other visitors get a better appreciation of the rich mangrove forest but also to reinforce security, the project officials say.

The expansion of Gazi bay mangrove has made the project the biggest in Africa according to UNEP programme management officer, Gabriel Grimsditch.

On a global scale, the restoration expansion will serve as a push to ongoing drive towards including mangroves in the national Redd+ action plan and strategies.

Mangroves, scientists say has a higher capacity of capturing carbon than biomass (terrestrial rianforest trees).

According James Kairo, chief scientist with the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, KMFRI , pitlands in mangroves store three times more carbon than terrestrial rainforest.

The biggest storage on carbon is in the soil and in mangrove areas, tidal movement make sediments get trapped by mangroves and there is build up of carbon storage, he explains.

“Mangroves are unique tropical forest with an exceptional ability to capture and store carbon,” Kairo says.

The Gazi Mangrove project for example stores over 3000 tonnes of carbon per year which is sold at over 12,000 US dollars annually according to statistics from KMFRI. The carbons are bought mostly by Earth Watch and the money obtained is ploughed back into development projects in the community, the villagers benefiting from the projects admit.

Money obtained from sale of carbon credits is used to buy books for children and equip schools, making it easier and encouraging for parents to send their children to school, a complete break from a long standing tradition where children were initiated into fishing and many abandoned school because their parents could not afford.

“Schools in Gazi and Makongeni have been reconstructed with more classrooms, textbooks distributed to pupils for free and this has encouraged many more parents to send their children to school,” says Anne Wanjiru.

The Mangrove forest in the area had in the past suffered from serious degradation by activities of, commercial loggers, and industries dealing with wood from mangroves as well as local fishing community members smoking fish. The community members say illegal and abusive mangrove cutting use to scare fish away making life perilous for the fishing communities of Makongeni, Chale and Gazi villages.

“We could hardly get fish even to eat, talk less of selling to earn income to support our families and send our children to school,” says Josephat Mnwarima, fisherman and coordinator of the Mikoko Pamoja mangroves restoration and protection project.

But now things have changed for the better according to members of the fishing community.

“I now catch three times more fish than I used to before 2010,” says Wanga Ahmed a fisherman from Wasini Island one of the villages in the area.

He expresses hope that with the ongoing expansion scheme, their community will in the future by a haven for varied species of fish bringing more income and better living condition to the population

UNEP says the mangrove forest expansion scheme is a global project also happening in other countries in the continent like Madagascar, Mozambique.

“UNEP is supporting similar initiatives in other countries in the continent,” Gabriel says.

However the scheme is not without challenges.

“We have had a series of challenges driving the expansion scheme,” he admits.

These include difficulties in carrying out scientific assessment of carbon stocks, getting the mostly illiterate village communities understand the importance of the project and also getting more buyers of carbon stocks.

“We also have problems of leakages. In the course of protecting one area we sometimes discover the mangrove cutters have relocated to other areas,” Gabriel says.

As solution, he says UNEP is supporting the planting of casuarina trees, a specie that grows quickly for wood used by locals thus preventing the cutting of mangroves.

African authorities have saluted the support by development stakeholders to the Kenyan local community mangrove conservation initiative to fight climate change, calling on the project to be replicated in other coastal regions in the continent.

“We have to be proud of our continent and support good practices that serves as world model like the local community-led mangrove conservation efforts in Kenya. In the next African environment ministers meeting in South Africa 2018 efforts at replicating such initiative will be put on the table,” announced  Pacome Moubelet Boubeya, President of African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, at the ongoing UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

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