Capturing Carbon in Kenyan Communities
Dr. Mark Huxham can often be found up to his knees in mud in the coastal mangrove forests of Kenya. But Earthwatch’s Jo-Anne Croft caught up with him recently during his visit to our UK office in Oxford to learn more about how Mark’s project will benefit from the global carbon market.
Mark’s project has recently been accredited by Plan Vivo - a not for profit certification body for community-based payments for ecosystem services (PES) programmes. This will allow Mark and his team to generate funding by selling credits on the global carbon market to fund conservation, community and education projects in Kenya’s Gazi Bay.
Dr Mark Huxham in the mangrove forests of Kenya
Mark says,"Mangroves are amongst the most efficient natural carbon sinks and it is essential that the world finds ways to protect them. Payments for carbon credits provides an exciting new possibility for their conservation. Our project (translated as Mikoko Pamoja, or mangroves together) aims to demonstrate how this can work for the benefit of local people and for the ecosystem as a whole."
Listen to Mark unravel the complexities of carbon trading, share how Kenyan communities will benefit from this ground-breaking initiative and explain the vital role that Earthwatch volunteers have played in securing accreditation for his project.
Mangroves fast facts:
- Mangrove forests are found in the intertidal zone of tropical and sub-tropical coastal regions
- Mangroves account for only around 0.4% of all forests worldwide, but are highly effective natural sinks for carbon, in some cases capturing up to six times more carbon per hectare than undisturbed rainforests
- This capacity makes them a valuable tool in combating climate change, and means that there is significant potential for funding their restoration through the global carbon market
- Mangroves provide multiple services, including coastal protection, nursery habitat for fish and filtration of pollution and sediments, making them a conservation priority
- Mangroves saved many lives in the 2004 Asian Tsunami by absorbing the power of the wave, and since then there has been a surge in mangrove restoration efforts. Currently however, mangrove restoration is often ineffective due to lack of scientific knowledge, and because local people lack the financial incentives and wider benefits from engaging in mangrove protection.
Become a volunteer on Mark’s project
Find out more: Project case study
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