Report from 1:1 Meetings in Kenya

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This report summarizes the 1-1 meetings that SPACES team members conducted with 20+ key stakeholders in Kenya. The one on one meetings offered a free atmosphere to share and discuss SPACES Project findings and community dialogue feedback. The stakeholders were able to interrogate the research findings and the feedback from community dialogue and get areas of common interest and also generate ideas for future engagement with communities and with different stakeholders.

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Redefining poverty in Kenya’s fishing villages

Redefining poverty in Kenya’s fishing villages

SPACES findings on the different dimensions of poverty have been highlighted in a recent article on Rethink.Earth. Fishers in Kenya occupy one of the more lucrative jobs along the coast, but many of them still miss meals and live in basic house made with mud walls and mangrove poles. To find out why, read the full story! 

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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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Community Dialogue Reports



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Using the future to make better decisions in the present. SPACES Workshop Report, Diani, Kenya 7-9th September 2015

SPACES organized a three day workshop with the title “Using the future to make better decisions in the present” in Leopard Beach hotel in Ukunda, Kenya from 7 to 9 September 2015, which gathered a wide range of organizations including experts in poverty alleviation and sustainable resource management from government, community organizations, non-governmental organizations and conservation and education sectors in coastal Kenya. This was the second workshop organized with the same participants.
The workshop aimed to:
1) Engage stakeholders in the findings from the SPACES project.
2) Explore how human wellbeing and ecosystem health might change in different future scenarios.
3) Identify interventions for poverty alleviation and sustainable ecosystem management and explore how they would work under different scenarios.
4) Identify existing initiatives (“seeds”) that could change the course of the scenarios.
During day 1, the focus was on disseminating and discussing SPACES preliminary research findings and re-engage with the future scenarios developed in the first workshop (February 2015).
Day 2 ́s focus was on exploring human wellbeing and ecosystem health and explore how this might change in different future scenarios. Also to identify and stress-test interventions for poverty alleviation and sustainable ecosystem management and explore how they would work under different scenarios.
On day 3, collaborating researchers from the SAPECS team (Southern African Program on Ecosystem Services) led an exercise where participants discussed ideas of an existing project or initiative (“seeds”) that they believed could have a positive impact on the future.
Throughout the workshop key messages on poverty alleviation and sustainable resource management was collected that will be summarized and delivered at one national and one international policy level workshop organized by SPACES in 2016.
The workshop was facilitated by the project partners and applied participatory tools and methods to ensure close interactions among the participants and facilitate sharing of knowledge and experience. Experiential learning was encouraged through group work, presentations, role play and plenary sessions.

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