Impact Story: Upscaling a successful carbon offset project in Vanga

In Vanga, there is a high quality mangrove forest that provides several ecosystem services directly to the community. Soon the forest will provide services to people living in other parts of the world as well. Vanga has been chosen as the site to launch a community led carbon offset project. 

SPACES researchers have collected baseline data on the mangrove forest quality and socio-economic data from the community. Another, ESPA funded project, CESEA, has also collected data in Vanga. The data collected from these two projects were combined to form the Project Idea Note (PIN), for Upscaling Mikoko Pamoja in Vanga.

Mikoko Pamoja (Mangroves Together in Swahili) is a carbon offset project in Gazi, Kenya. The community sells its carbon credits from conservation of the forest to buyers around the world. “The community plants mangroves, reduces pressure on the forest, and promotes the sustainable use of the forest. From these activities the community is able to reduce their carbon emissions”, said Lilian Mwihaki from the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI).

When carbon credits are sold, the money comes back to Mikoko Pamoja project and the community in Gazi. Mwihaki said “there is a benefit sharing scheme in place and the money is put back into the project or spent directly on the community. The community [in Gazi] has used the money on water projects and for stocking books in schools.” Also, two of the schools now have free access to clean drinking water.

The carbon offset project, Mikoko Pamoja, began in 2013 and will continue for 20 years! The project has been a success, and was recently awarded the UNEquator Prize in New York City last month. It was the first community based mangrove project in the world to successfully trade its carbon credits. From the success of Mikoko Pamoja, the idea to upscale it in another site was born. This is where Vanga comes into the picture.

In Vanga, the project, Upscaling Mikoko Pamoja, is only in its early phases. The Project Idea Note (PIN) has been accepted and now the team is working on the Project Design Document (PDD). The project leads are working closely with the Community Forest Association (CFA) in Vanga. Recently, the project lead held a consultation meeting with the wider community to get their input about the project.

Upscaling Mikoko Pamoja in Vanga has received support from CESEA (SPACES’ sister project) and the UNDP funded Blue Forest Project. Recently the project also received additional funding from the Leonardo DiCaprio foundation. The project is meant to last 20 years like the original Mikoko Pamoja project.
This is a great achievement for the SPACES mangrove team! The team used the SPACES mangrove data along with CESEA’s data to upscale the Mikoko Pamoja project in Vanga. We look forward to following how this progresses.

You can buy carbon credits to offset your carbon emissions from Mikoko Pamoja and other community led organizations here.

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What has wellbeing got to do with the price of fish: A focus on fishers’ income might miss opportunities for sustainable poverty alleviation

SPACES research informs a call to consider fisheries benefits to wellbeing beyond income. An income focus can miss non-monetary dimensions of poverty, unequal distributions and whether it is spent and saved to improve people’s quality of life.

By Tim Daw and Ida Gabrielsson

For the past four years, SPACES has conducted research in coastal communities in Kenya and Mozambique. In the south coastal community of Vanga in Kenya, fishermen are less likely to be income poor than their non-fishing neighbours. However, they and their families are as likely as non-fishers to lack basic food, water and sanitation needs. This contradiction begs us to better understand how the wellbeing of poor coastal communities are supported by fisheries and how interventions can improve wellbeing while balancing the pressure on threatened coastal ecosystems.

Delegates discussing the global goal on ocean health in New York this week should carefully consider how fisheries contribute to wellbeing, and […]

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Value Chain Analysis Data Treat

How the benefits of reef fish trade are shared in two Kenyan landing sites

 

  • These figures illustrate how income generated from the reef fish value chain is shared amongst different actors in two sites in Kenya.
  • The size of the fish represents the total income generated by the value chain and this is divided into the coloured areas according to how it is shared amongst the groups. So fishers capture the most income in both sites. And male and female small scale traders capture the same amount in Mombasa.
  • In addition, the black human figures shows the relative number of people in each group.
    So although fishers capture most of the income, it is shared amongst a large number of them, while only a few individuals are in the group ‘Large scale male traders’ in Vanga. Meanwhile there are many more […]

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Exploring wellbeing and ecosystem services at the Resillience for Development Colloquium, Johannesburg

Julio Machele, Marlino Mubai, Dominique Goncales, Tim Daw and Thomas Chagneau represented SPACES at this event, which brought together scientists and practitioners working on complex challenges of sustainable development in the context of complex social and ecological interconnections and change.

A session on SPACES results featured:
an introduction and overview of the political and historical context of development in Cabo Delgado by Marlino
discussion by Julio of the unequal distribution of ecosystem benefits according to gender, ethnicity and wealth,
– an analysis of how ecosystem service use is correlated to different dimensions of poverty in the SPACES household survey by Tim
– finally Dominique gave a rich picture of these issues in Cabo Delgado through stories, photographs and anecdotes drawn from her experience of conducting the SPACES social science fieldwork.

The discussion with the audience drew on the diversity of perspectives in these presentations to explore […]

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Community Dialogues in Kenya

In Kenya, the SPACES field team is conducting community dialogues in the coastal communities of Vanga, Jimbo, Tsunza, Mkwiro, Shimoni, and Kongowea. The team has returned from the first three sites and has reflected on the process and has recently departed for the next site, Mkwiro.

During the community dialogues, the team is presenting some of SPACES key findings and following up on questions which the community members asked during the community feedback last summer. The objective of the dialogues is twofold. The first objective is to share the findings with the communities in hope to stimulate conversation, understand the communities’ interpretations of the findings, and identify possible actions that can be taken in the communities and by development actors. The second objective is to reflect and learn from the dialogue experience and to continually improve the dialogues from site to site. In the end we hope to be able […]

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