ACHIEVING 10% FOREST COVER

KFS starts restoration of degraded mangroves in Lamu

Lamu is home to more than 60 per cent of Kenya's mangroves.

In Summary

• KFS will plant 250,000 mangrove propagules, while Wetlands International will provide 2,000 seedlings for the launch.

• Wetlands International project officer Shawlet Cherono said mangroves are high-value wetland ecosystems for people and nature.

Kenya Forest Service officials plant mangroves in Lamu.
Kenya Forest Service officials plant mangroves in Lamu.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

Kenya Forest Service, Wetlands International and the community have launched a campaign to restore degraded mangrove areas in the southern block in Lamu.

KFS will plant 250,000 mangrove propagules, while Wetlands International will provide 2,000 seedlings for the launch.

Lamu is home to about 145,000 people and accounts for more than 60 per cent of Kenya's mangroves.

Forest restoration, including mangroves, is part of Kenya’s commitment to restore 5.1 million hectares (approximately 12 million acres) of degraded forests. This is in line with Africa Forest Landscape Restoration initiative, which aims to recover 100 million hectares (about 247 million acres) of forests by 2030.

Speaking during the launch, Lamu KFS forest conservator Peter Mwangi said there is need to conserve and restore degraded mangroves in the county.

He urged partners to support the campaign during this long rain season.

“We are experiencing rains in Lamu now after a prolonged drought since 2019 which has affected many people and their livelihoods. This season is the ideal time to plant mangroves," Mwangi said.

He said KFS together with key partners, is accelerating the attainment of 10 per cent tree cover.

Wetlands International project officer Shawlet Cherono said mangroves are high-value wetland ecosystems for people and nature.

Mangroves enhance water quality, control erosion, maintain stream flows and store carbon.

She said there should be a balance between protection and consumption of mangrove ecosystems.

Cherono said mangroves are progressively reducing.

She said at Wetlands International, mangrove restoration activities are guided by the Community-Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration approach where natural regeneration of mangroves has a higher success rate than mass planting.

Cherono said where natural regeneration of mangroves is not possible, the CBEMR approach looks into factors hindering natural regeneration such as poor hydrology, site history, pollution and socioeconomic conditions.

“CBEMR is cost-effective and efficient in the long-term and this campaign being launched today will utilise enrichment planting in sites where natural regeneration is not an option,” Cherono said.

In March last year, Wetlands International, in partnership with Mangrove Action Project conducted a practical training for 21 representatives from community, government institutions and civil society on the CBEMR approach in Lamu.

Edited by A.N

Wetland International's Shawlet Cherono (centre) plants a mangrove seedling in Lamu.
Wetland International's Shawlet Cherono (centre) plants a mangrove seedling in Lamu.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES
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