Empowering local villages to plant + protect mangrove ecosystems.
This project restores 100+ hectares of degraded mangrove forest within the Malindi Watamu National Marine Park and Reserve - a UNESCO Designated Biosphere Area + one of the world’s oldest Marine Protected Areas.
In partnership with the local community, 1 million mangrove SeaTrees will be planted throughout the Mida Creek Region.
Mida Creek is a critical stopover for migratory birds. A large portion of Watamu Marine National Park has also been internationally recognized as an Important Marine Mammal Area (IMMA) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The area is home to critical sea turtle habitat and nesting areas, is used as a nursing ground for Humpback Whales, and has a large resident population of Indo-pacific Bottlenose Dolphin.
Mida Creek is approximately 140 km north of Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city and covers an area of 32 km2.
It is a recognized International Bird Area and together with Arabuko-Sokoke Forest forms a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Mida Creek supports the surrounding local communities - providing food, revenue from tourism, and protection from storm surges and sea level rise.
A Fragile ecosystem
Mangrove trees have been illegally harvested for lumber and charcoal production, due to local economic pressures.
Working with local communities to provide jobs, the impacted areas are regenerated by planting and protecting native mangroves species – in alignment with the UNEP / Guidelines on MangroveEcosystem Restoration for theWestern Indian Ocean Region.
SeaTrees has partnered with COBEC (Community Based Environmental Conservation), a community-based organization founded in 2005 in Kenya – focused on local "grass-roots" ocean conservation efforts.
Their main programs implemented with the support of the local communities and government stakeholders have focused on mangrove forest restoration and Sea Turtle conservation.
Mida Creek is an important feeding and development area for juvenile green and hawksbill sea turtles. Coral heads, mangrove forests and rich seagrass beds provide food in a sheltered area away from large predators.
COBEC works with local villages to strategically replant mangroves in deforested areas.
More than 350 people are being employed to restore the mangrove forests.
These communities are educated on the environmental and economic importance of these ecosystems, and employed to grow seedlings, collect mangrove propagules, plant mangroves, and monitor the growth of the trees.
In addition to the local communities around Mida Creek, COBEC has partnerships with a range of other important local stakeholders to improve the longer-term success of the project and the survival of the trees being planted. This includes: Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Fisheries Service, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, and Watamu Marine Association.