Mikoko Pamoja is a pioneering and innovative project providing a ‘triple win’ for the community of Gazi Bay in southern Kenya: fighting climate change, conserving biodiversity and improving the livelihood of the community.
Mikoko Pamoja (‘mangroves together’ in Kiswahili) is the world’s first project to fund mangrove conservation through the sale of carbon credits. It is a collaboration between local, national and international organisations who have come together to support the co-management of the mangroves in this special bay on Kenya’s southeast coast. NGOs, academic and research institutions and government bodies collaborate to support the community in protecting their vitally important mangrove forest for the benefit of the local community, the environment and the climate.
Established as a community-based organisation (CBO) and granted co-management rights to the forest under Kenyan legislation, Mikoko Pamoja works to benefit the entire community. Income raised through the protection of the forest funds not only further protection and reforestation, but community projects including building of wells, school building repairs, provision of school books and local community groups such as children’s football clubs. Clean water has been provided for 3,500 people, 700 school children have received educational materials and 117 hectares of forest have been protected.
This innovative project has received international recognition. In 2017, it won the prestigious Equator Initiative prize for community solutions to climate change. The STEPS Centre praised the project’s “elite performance of sustainability”, and accreditation partner Plan Vivo Foundation commended how “local mangrove conservation scheme can have positive sustainable development impacts by way of protecting threatened ecosystems and improving the livelihoods of local community members.”
Mikoko Pamoja is a pioneering project, showing on a small scale how mangrove conservation and sustainable development can be done well. Yet its influence reaches much further than this small community, and the project has informed national policy in Kenya’s National Mangrove Ecosystem Management Plan and the project is used for training by international organisations such as WWF and the United Nations Development Programme. It is a model for future projects, the first of which is Vanga, a larger site south of Mikoko Pamoja, on the Tanzanian border, which will ‘scale up’ the Mikoko Pamoja model to a forest four times the size. This second project, which received start up funds from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, will be managed by ACES.
Want to support this community in protecting their forest? Carbon credits from Mikoko Pamoja are available to buy from ACES – contact us for more information.