Training Remarks From the First Workshop held at the fort of the National Museum of Kenya in Lamu from 11th to 13th September, 2019.

Training is required for both the local community and the Kenya Forest Service Staff to secure rehabilitation and growth of the Lamu mangrove forest.

On training, several ideas were raised by the training group on different knowledge and capacity development areas that the training team in the Mikoko project could focus on.

For the local communities, the following training topics were suggested:

 Rehabilitation practices and ecological functions beyond ecological characteristics
 Mangrove harvesting trends and how to transform the process to be more sustainable
 Nursery management and restoration plans
 Eco-friendly livelihoods activities such as honey harvesting, boardwalk development, value addition activities e.g. herbal medicine, aquaculture, traditional and innovative use of mangrove wood 
 Community Forest Association (CFAs) governance and group dynamics training
 GIS training targeting KFS staff to support in the regular monitoring of mangrove forests
 Boat navigation in the mangrove forest training  

For the KFS staff, the following training was suggested:

 Mangrove rehabilitation, ecological functioning and utilization as most Foresters particularly those at the coast are new to the area
 GIS training to support in the regular monitoring of mangrove forests 
 Marine security and to set up a special unit dealing with issues of maritime security
 Boat navigation in the mangrove forest training 
 Monitoring of water and soil quality and collection of meteorological data from forested areas. There is need to pick this up again so that the skills are enhanced, and the historical data sets are updated
 There is need to establish parameters informed by research on harvesting, size classes, height of mangroves and to enable Foresters to partition the mangrove areas into harvesting blocks which are regularly monitored and cutting controlled.

The training group suggested that first, the project team should carry out a stakeholder mapping activity to identify the various actors working on mangrove forests and mangrove forest user groups. Secondly, carry out training needs assessment on the stakeholders identified above. Then finally, the Mikoko project will support the development of a curriculum for training in the above areas of interest that could be integrated at the Kenya Forestry College program.

The participants identified opportunities that could be tapped into by the Mikoko project team through collaboration. For example, the Kenya Forestry College training in Londiani could support the various training activities proposed in Lamu. In addition, peer to peer learning between the Mikoko project in Lamu and the Mikoko Pamoja project in Gazi Bay will be considered.  
Moreover, the participants indicated the need to establish a community-based stakeholder platform that will be used by the different stakeholder to share knowledge and information on mangroves.

First Training on Mangrove ecosystem – 18th– 21st February, 2020

Mikoko Project’s first training took place in National Museum of Kenya, Gede,  Kilifi County. The training brought together some key stakeholders such as local community leaders and the KFS Ecosystem Conservators from the Kenyan coastal area. The trainers were drawn from Egerton University, National Museum of Kenya (NMK), KFS, KEFRI, KMFRI and KWS. The training was designed to reinforce capacities of the front line staff of the KFS and local communities and work jointly to ensure conservation of the biodiversity resources of mangrove ecosystem.

In this regard, the training involved an overview of mangrove ecosystem under different aspects. More specifically, participants/ key stakeholders were informed on what has been done and the gaps that needs to be addressed as well as the  way forward on the management and effective conservation of the mangrove ecosystems.

The goal of the training was covered in the 17 sessions structured over the Training period. A detailed program agenda on different sessions of presentations in the Training and the list of participants is provided in the Annex list.

Overall, the Training was a success and remains to be fruitful in many respects. The Training provided the opportunity for rich discussions and interactions between the trainers and trainees on the key areas: the status, conservation and management of mangrove ecosystem.

Also the discussions touched on the socio-economic aspects and the governance issues related to the mangrove forests. Through this training, capacity was build, especially to those who participated from communities in understanding sustainable ways of utilization of the mangroves resources, assessment and analysis of making best mangrove value chain and value addition to its products among others.

In addition the Training provided a unique opportunity to hear and get feedback on the constraints encountered in grass root conservation of mangrove forests and possible policy options for Participatory Forest Management Plan.

Apart from developing capacities, the Training was instrumental in fostering open dialogue, networking and partnerships as an essential step in involving all the stakeholders given the attendance of the participants, mutual exchanges of views and experiences among them and formal interactions during breaks and after hours which is further reflected in evaluation forms submitted by participants at the end of the Training.