Kenya Reforestation Project

Over 90% of Kenya has been deforested. The dangerous combination of logging,
charcoal burning and illegal settling will only accelerate forest loss.

The Kenya Reforestation Project has successfully established community-based mangrove plantations over an area of 2.5ha in the target area of Gazi Mangrove Forest, Kenya. 

This area has supported the plantation to grow to more than 50,000 mangroves. The potential for additional mangrove planting in this area is in excess of 5,000,000 mangroves.  

The main limitations of this project are funding for fishery implementation and technical training staff for adequate community development. Nonetheless, the community-led plantations demonstrated a very high rate of survival of >101%. 

In addition, the locals who are now receiving Health Insurance are looking after the trees every day to ensure the survival rate is consistent. This project is ensuring regional support and adequate financing to educate and enhance the local infrastructure is pivotal to sustainable success.  The project is expected to provide hundreds of jobs by the end of the 2022 mangrove season and more than 1,000 jobs during the crab farming season.

This project aims to benefit coastal communities, such as those who live in coastal areas and depend on natural resources for their livelihoods, as well as those whose settlements, infrastructure, and ecosystems are continually being affected by sea intrusion and natural disasters. Mangrove planting and aquaculture have been prioritized for the poorer and more vulnerable. The project involves a cross-section of government and non-governmental agencies as well as the private sector.  

Gazi Mangrove Community Development

The Gazi Mangrove Community Development Project is a community project that aims to reduce poverty among the poor inhabitants of the coastal zones of Kwale County districts in Kenya and reforest blue-carbon-rich ecosystems. The goal of the project was to plant 50,000 trees. They will help increasing the income, access to public services, and capacity of poor families to manage the natural resources they depend on for survival. This is possible through the establishment of sustainable mangrove plantations and aquaculture.

The Kenya Reforestation project envisaged two major technical levels for its implementation. Firstly, restoration/rehabilitation of the mangroves, and secondly, aquaculture. As part of both of these technical areas, capacity building and awareness-raising will be considered essential components. Due to the project’s emphasis on community development as well as ecosystem restoration and poverty alleviation, activities related to economic valuation and livelihoods will also be conducted within the two technical areas. 

Principles for Restoring a Mangrove Ecosystem

A mangrove ecosystem varies greatly in its structure and function depending on the environment in which it exists. Restoration approaches are therefore dependent on the local conditions. As a result, it is difficult to generalize the techniques to apply for the restoration of a mangrove ecosystem at a particular site.

When planning the restoration of a specific mangrove site, there are a few general principles to follow. The key to any restoration programme is to gain a clear understanding of the nature and dynamics of local conditions prevalent in mangrove ecosystems. Rehabilitation through community involvement has become a widely used and popular option. Local fishing communities in mangrove areas understand the importance of mangroves in their livelihoods. 

There is an undeniable link between the biophysical aspects of the mangrove ecosystem and the community’s livelihoods. In fact, their way of life is heavily dependent on the goods and services that it provides. In order for any restoration project to be a success, the participation of the communities is vital.

Training in Gazi culture can contribute to mangrove regeneration and long-term conservation. Providing basic training so that individuals can restore and replant mangroves, even as they utilize goods and services provided.  In selecting CBOs/local communities, we take into account their capacity to handle projects of this nature.

Kenya reforestation project
Kenya reforestation project