Marereni Community Blue Carbon Initiative Feasibility Assessment and Stakeholder Outreach
Mangrove forests in Marereni, Kilifi County, Kenya
Local women’s football club participating in Mangrove planting in Marereni
Community Based Environmental Conservation (COBEC)
The project site, the Marereni mangrove area, consists of a biodiverse and economically important ecosystem. This complex ecosystem supports 2,800 families who depend on ecosystem services provided by the mangroves (e.g. timber for building, firewood, fisheries). Mangrove land conversion to salt pans and urban areas as well as mangrove degradation from timber collection and other threats have reduced the mangrove cover of Kilifi County by 76% since 1985 while salt works have caused social problems arising from restricted access to the sea and contamination of freshwater.
Previously, COBEC identified large-scale support from stakeholders and communities for community-based management of their mangrove resources, with the creation of the Magarini Community Forest Association in 2014. Based on discussion with those communities and stakeholders, we believe that community-led mangrove reforestation aiming at developing a blue carbon credit project, known as the Marereni Community Blue Carbon Initiative, is viable. It is expected to provide alternative livelihoods for this community, tapping into community networks already established.
Therefore, this project will conduct a feasibility analysis to assess the possibility of realising the envisioned Marereni Community Blue Carbon Initiative, by identifying potential restoration areas (particularly abandoned salt pans and afforested areas), and technical and legal challenges that may be encountered. In tandem, community and stakeholder outreach and education activities will be conducted to understand stakeholder preferences, co-develop management ideas, and identify potential gains from blue carbon. Project outputs will be vital to inform potential carbon credit developers and buyers.
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