A pioneering project
Mikoko Pamoja (‘Mangroves Together’ in Kiswahili) is the world’s first project to fund mangrove conservation through the sale of carbon credits.
It is also the first in the world to have incorporated seagrass conservation under carbon offsetting standards under a ‘carbon-plus’ approach; ACES have worked with UNEP, the Mikoko Pamoja team and community, and Edinburgh Napier University to explore the potential for seagrass carbon financing worldwide and apply this to the Mikoko Pamoja project.
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Local, national, and international organisations 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.
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 works to benefit the entire community. The project is established as a community-based organisation (CBO) and granted co-management rights to the forest under Kenyan legislation.
Income raised through the protection of the mangrove forest funds further protection and reforestation and also community projects. Community projects have included the building of wells, school building repairs, provision of school books, and funding for local community groups such as children’s football clubs.
Clean water has been provided for 3,500 people, 700 schoolchildren have received educational materials and 117 hectares of mangrove forest have been protected.
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. The project has informed national policy in Kenya’s National Mangrove Ecosystem Management Plan. 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.
Vanga Blue Forest, a larger site south of Mikoko Pamoja, on the Tanzanian border, has ‘scaled up’ the Mikoko Pamoja model to a forest four times the size. This second project received start-up funds from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and is managed by ACES.