Managing mangroves for climate change mitigation and other ecosystem services

June 21, 2017

Kenya Placeholder
Kenya

Managing mangroves for climate change mitigation and other ecosystem services

About the Implementing organization

Name: Mikoko Pamoja

Country: Kenya

Year of establishment: 2013

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Legally recognized non-profit status / Community enterprise or business / Community based initiative associated with a conserved area

Description

MIKOKO PAMOJA is an innovative Blue Carbon Initiative and the first of its kind in the world to successfully benefit from the sale of mangrove carbon credits. This initiative aims to promote non-consumptive utilization of mangrove resources in a way that mitigates climate change, conserves biodiversity and enhances community livelihood. Improved management of mangroves through MIKOKO PAMOJA is aligned with national and global development goals in food security (SDG1), climate change regulation (SDG 13), biodiversity conservation (SDG14), among others. Revenue generated through the sale of carbon credits is used to pay direct wages to 10 staff working for the program; in addition to supporting community development projects in education, water and sanitation and mangrove reforestation. Through MIKOKO PAMOJA, over 3500 communities members (approx.. 75% household) in the two villages have been linked to clean water; while 700 school going children have been supplied with educational materials including textbooks and sports kits. On a national level, MIKOKO PAMOJA is influencing changes in mangrove management policy in Kenya. The program was exhibited at COP21 and COP 22 of UNFCCC as an example of nature-based solution to climate change challenges. There are prospects of expanding of MIKOKO PAMOJA initiatives to other mangrove areas in Kenya and the Western Indian Ocean region in general.

Nature Element

Forests / Oceans / Coasts / Wetlands / Wildlife

Type of Action

Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Disaster risk reduction / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)

        

Environmental Impacts

Potential of mangroves to capture and store carbon is being enhanced through activities of MIKOKO PAMOJA. The initiative is validated by Plan Vivo System and Standards to sell at least 3,000 TCO2-equivalent per annum. The total emission reduction expected over the crediting period of 20 years through Mikoko Pamoja is 50,000 tTCO2-equivalent (http://www.planvivo.org/project-network/mikoko-pamoja-kenya/ ). Through MIKOKO PAMOJA, degraded mangroves at Gazi are rehabilitated, increasing ecosystem resilience and shoreline protection. The total area of mangroves that has been replanted in Gazi is approximately 100 ha with an additional 0.4 ha per year over the crediting period of 20 years. The success of MIKOKO PAMOJA is likely to influence policy changes on mangrove management in Kenya and elsewhere; by encouraging countries to include mangroves and associated ecosystem in nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMA's) as well as National Determined Contribution (NDC) under Paris Agreement.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Jobs, Livelihoods, and Food Security:
Every year communities participating in MIKOKO PAMOJA activities receive direct payments from the sale of mangrove carbon credits. This revenue is then utilized to pay the salary for 10 community members working for MIKOKO PAMOJA; supplying piped water to 700 households, and purchase of stationery to 2 schools in the two villages. Besides, improved management of mangroves implies healthier sea grasses that provide habitats to various fish species thus directly contributing to food security in the area.

Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Action:
Through Mikoko Pamoja 3,000 TCO2- are sequestered per year through avoided deforestation, reforestation of degraded areas, and increased community surveillance. These activities have enhanced ecosystem integrity and productivity; as witnessed by healthier mangrove forest and increased sediment accretion. Healthy mangrove serves to protect shorelines from extreme events including tsunamis and sea-level rise.

Scalability

MIKOKO PAMOJA is the first initiative of its kind to restore and protect mangroves through the sale of carbon credits. This initiative is verified by Plan Vivo System and Standards, a framework for supporting communities to manage their natural resources more sustainably with a view to generating climate, community, and biodiversity benefits through payments for environmental services; in this case carbon. Outside of start-up costs, Plan Vivo projects are self-sustaining in that the amount of carbon sequestered through mangrove protection and restoration can be traded in the voluntary carbon market. The income is then used to pay community members involved in mangrove conservation activities as well as financing priority community projects in water and sanitation, education, and environmental management. Opportunities to upscale MIKOKO PAMOJA activities are being piloted in other mangrove areas in Kenya and the rest of Africa.

Replicability

Mangrove forests are among the most endangered ecosystem on earth. Losses and degradation of mangroves lead to shortages of wood products, reduction in fisheries, and increased shoreline erosion. In addition, mangrove degradation results to increased emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. MIKOKO PAMOJA is working to reverse these conditions by providing incentives to restore and protect mangroves for increased productivity and integrity of the ecosystem. Building blocks of Mikoko Pamoja, which could be replicated to other mangrove areas, have been identified as good science, community buy-in, and government support. The UNEP’s Blue Carbon Project (https://www.gefblueforests.org/upscaling-mikoko-pamoja-a-small-scale-mangrove-carbon-offset-project-in-kenya/), efforts are being made to replicate MIKOKO PAMOJA to other parts of Africa and Latin America. During the COP21 and COP 22, of UNFCCC, MIKOKO PAMOJA was being exhibited as ‘blue solution’ to climate change challenges.

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