Conservation of the Kenyan mangroves for the economy and the environment

Along the Kenyan coast, mangrove forests offer a number of ecosystem benefits, including sequestering carbon, preventing coastal erosion, and protecting fish from tides and predators. But the shrimp and fish aquaculture industries are destroying the very mangroves that are so important to their health.

Now some coastal communities, for which mangroves also have spiritual, cultural and ceremonial significance, are taking steps to restore these special trees and maintain their local economies. Aboud Mohammed’s focus is on Pate Island, the largest in the Lamu Archipelago, near the northeast coast of Kenya. As vice chairman of the Pate Resources and Tourism Initiative (Prati), Mohammed also leads a volunteer team that plant and conserve around 20 hectares of mangroves to promote biodiversity, combat climate change and protect the livelihoods of local subsistence fishermen.

A blooming mangrove thicket off Pate Island in Lamu. There are growing concerns that the development of Lamu Port will adversely affect the habitat and health of the surrounding marine ecosystems.

Photographer: Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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Early morning and low tide on the coast of Mtangawanda Village on Pate Island.

Photo by Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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Zulfa Hassan, chairwoman of the Mtagwanda Mangrove Restoration Women’s Group, at one of their monitored field locations.

Photo by Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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With a view of newly planted seedlings, magnificent first-generation mangroves grace the edge of the Mtagwanda forest.

Photo by Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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Exploring a future mangrove restoration site on the outskirts of the village of Mtagwanda after decades of unsustainable harvest.

Photo by Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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Dahlia Kupe, Chair of the Beach Management Unit of Faza Village, at a rehabilitation site near Faza Village, where she works to protect mangroves and develop communities.

Photo by Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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A lonely mangrove off the coast of the village of Mikindani in Tudor Creek, Mombasa, leans against the tide.

Photo by Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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Bosco Juma, director of Big Ship, an environmental protection and community development organization, leads the way through one of their rehabilitation areas in Tudor Creek.

Photo by Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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Fishermen set out to catch the day off the banks of the village of Junda.

Photo by Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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Brain Youth Group members transplant seedlings into organized rows as part of voluntary restoration efforts in the Junda Village area of ​​Tudor Creek, some of which are supported by Global Green Grants.

Photo by Kang-Chun Cheng for Bloomberg Markets

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