Two villages living adjacent to the Indian Ocean in the southern coast of Kenya are improving their livelihoods after earning money from selling carbon credit from mangrove trees to international environmental organizations.
In the swampy, soft mud of the mangrove forest on Kenya’s south coast, farmer Idi BomaniI is with a local community group surveying and planting some of the seedlings that have fallen from the trees in the estuary.
Idi is a member of the Mikoko Pamoja community project, a conservation and restoration program in which locals farm mangrove trees on the shores of the Indian Ocean.
In the past two years, they’ve started more than 6,500 mangrove seedlings. Dr. James Kairo, principal research officer at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, says that the mangrove’s capacity to store carbon IV is massive.
Through the Kenya Forest Service, the project is now included in the UN-REDD process, and the community based carbon offset program could set the stage for more mangrove forests – and the communities who depend on them – into the global carbon offset market.
Photo credit: Romy Chevalier / Blue Forests via Flickr / Creative Commons