Securing marine resources and sustaining fisheries livelihoods in northern Kenya
Kenya’s northern coast is a marine biodiversity hotspot, home to ecologically important yet severely threatened marine species, coral reefs and mangroves. Together with our partners, we are working to develop sustainable natural resource management for local coastline communities.
Kenya’s northern coast, part of the Eastern Africa Biodiversity Hotspot, is home to globally important yet severely threatened marine species, coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangroves. Over 100,000 people live along this coastline and are largely dependent on unsustainable fishing practices, such as the use of beach seine nets and monofilament fishing lines, for their livelihoods. FFI is working with local and international organisations to support the development of community-based natural resource management in Lamu, Tana River and Garissa counties.
To date, we have established four community conservancies to improve the livelihoods of local communities through the sustainable use of natural resources. Facing challenges and threats such as overfishing, destructive fishing practices, habitat destruction and pollution, FFI and partners have worked closely with fisher communities and government agencies to build conservation capacity, knowledge and awareness around these issues.
Our work in northern Kenya focuses on five key themes:
Six locally managed marine areas have been established in Kenya through collaboration with local partners, and these are now being managed to protect coral reefs across stretches of the ocean.
In the Lamu-Tana seascape, we have supported the establishment of four community conservancies: Kiunga Community Conservancy, Pate Marine Community Conservancy, Awer Community Conservancy, and Lower Tana Delta Community Conservancy. Local communities have been supported to drive forward strict protection (having witnessed themselves how better-managed reefs lead to greater fish catches), and there are early signs that juvenile reef fish are becoming more abundant in these zones. We have also supported the start of a plastics clean-up project in Kiunga and are trialling a pilot ‘Fish-to-Market’ project in this area.
A gear exchange programme is implemented to tackle illegal gear use.
Six locally managed marine areas are set up in Lamu County.
FFI begins work in the region with The Northern Rangelands Trust and The Nature Conservancy.
Gurveena Ghataure, Programme Manager (marine), Kenya
FFI has a long history of working with communities in biodiversity-rich landscapes to enable them to act as effective custodians of their precious, yet threatened, natural resources. We recognise that the livelihoods of rural communities are complex and dynamic; they are not just a means of making a living but a way of life.
We are thankful for the support of Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, for this project.
Kenya, in East Africa, is home to some of our planet’s the most striking landscapes and wildlife. Elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard can all be found here along with a host of other species.
The world’s coastal and marine habitats are among the most threatened and – until recently – the most neglected on our planet.