Thirteen high-level WWF members visited KMFRI Gazi substation on November 7, 2017. During the visit, the team of Directors and CEOs from Poland, Sweden, the UK and Kenya got to learn about the mangrove ecosystem and the services they provide including their unique role in climate regulation. Apart from that, they were enlightened about KMFRI’s activities and how the institution has promoted alternative livelihood projects in the Bay in a bid to promote sustainable utilization of mangroves.
Among these projects is Mikoko Pamoja, a mangrove Payment for Ecosystem services (PES) project, which is acting as a solution to the degraded mangrove habitats of Gazi Bay, and is contributing to improved livelihood of the adjacent community. Regarding the existing partnership between KMFRI and WWF, the team was informed about past projects that have been implemented through WWF. Currently, the international NGO is in the process of initiating two projects in the coast of Kenya.
The first project on management of mangroves for climate change and other ecosystem services will be carried out in Vanga (funding by International climate initiative (IKI) Germany). The second project will be on integrating Blue Carbon in National Determined contributions (NDC) and will be implemented in Lamu (funding by WWF-US).
The WWF team got to enjoy a delicious local cuisine courtesy of the Gazi Women and later took a walk along the 400m mangrove boardwalk.
The visit aided in creating understanding on the relationship between WWF and KMFRI, and informed the need for developing and sustaining strong partnership to achieve conservation agenda. The team was also happy to not only learn but also see science, conservation and community livelihood improvement in action.