Research

Capacity building through research production of new knowledge

Due to the complexity of mangrove socio-ecosystems and to multiple interactions with climate variability and change, coastal dynamics, riverine and freshwater inputs, livelihoods, infrastructure and land planning policies, a sustainable management of the Kenyan mangrove requires a portfolio of Kenyan expertise enabling

(i) To understand and anticipate the main challenges in mangrove management over the next decades, and

(ii) To providing advice to Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and any stakeholders involved in the use and management of Kenyan mangrove and coastal ecosystems.

The research and innovation contribution to the FSPI-Mikoko follows mission and core values of the pluridisciplinary doctoral school “Institute of Climate Change Adaptation” (ICCA) at University of Nairobi. It aims to assess the interlinkages between biophysical and social controls involved in mangrove restoration and conservation issues, and its socio-economic opportunities for Kenya in the context of climate and demographic trends.

The Lamu archipelago is the reference researches study area, albeit other localities as well as integrated studies at national scales are considered for specific issues like the surface of mangrove cover and its dynamics over the last decades.

Biophysical-oriented studies aim to inform the quality of mangrove forest over time (biomass, biodiversity) and its relation to environmental controls (freshwater and sediment inputs, rainfall seasonality, tidal amplitudes and sea-level) and land-use impacts (e.g. wood cutting, lime production, massive deforestations linked with coastal infrastructure like the LAPSSET terminal,  tree plantations, aquaculture, plastic pollution), including inland (e.g. dams) and offshore activities (e.g. shipping lines) controls.

Social science studies focus on the linkages between the mangrove resources and services and livelihoods, thus historical and cultural, nutrition/health, economic/mangrove markets and policy aspects). These MSc or PhD level works are eventually combined and integrated into an interdisciplinary assessment of the Kenyan mangrove, and its perspective for the blue sustainable economy in Kenya.