August 13, 2020
Mangrove forests is an indispensable carbon sink. They also provide effective protection in the event of floods and are home to thousands of different species of fish, mammals and birds. But mangroves are threatened in many parts of the world as coastal areas are exploited and trees are cut down to be used as wood and building materials. This project protects an area of 460 hectares of mangroves and improves the livelihoods of 9,000 people in three villages.
Unlike terrestrial trees and plants, leaves from mangroves end up in the sediments below the water surface among the roots instead of ending up on the ground where some of the carbon dioxide is released. Once in the sediments, the carbon dioxide can be stored for thousands of years. Protecting trees also strengthens biodiversity, as mangrove forests are home to thousands of species of small fish, mammals and birds.
This unique project is located on the border between Kenya and Tanzania and has received initial funding from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Over a period of 20 years, the project is expected to prevent emissions of over 93,000 tonnes of CO2e through the conservation of mangrove forests. During the last two decades, about 60 hectares of mangroves per year have disappeared in the area, so the protection of the forest is important. When deforestation stops, carbon dioxide is prevented from being released into the atmosphere. Initially, the focus is on protecting 460 hectares of mangroves, while improving the livelihood for 9,000 people in the three villages of Vanga, Jimbo and Kiwegu. In addition to preserving the mangroves, the project will also replant deforested areas with new seedlings.
The funding from the carbon offsets will be used to improve local capacity in forest management and local companies in beekeeping, ecotourism and crab farming. To promote capacity building and economic self-determination among the local population, the project organizes seminars in sustainable entrepreneurship. The project is certified by Plan Vivo.