Kenya's mangrove forest covers over 60,000 hectares, representing approximately 3% of the country's natural forest cover.
Mangroves act as a form of natural coastal defence: reducing erosion, attenuating waves (and tsunamis) and reducing the height of storm surges.
With 9 mangrove species in Kenya, Rhizophora mucronata ('mkoko') dominates as a sought-after resource for poles, dye, and charcoal.
Mangroves host a plethora of biodiversity, from insects to birds, crabs, shrimp, and small fish foraging in the fertile mud.
The successful Mikoko Pamoja project trades mangrove carbon credits, funding conservation and development programs in Gazi village, setting an example for restoration efforts.
Mangroves act as vital breeding and nursery grounds for about two-thirds of the fish consumed in Kenya, enhancing fishery production.
Mangroves are among the most carbon-rich forests globally, storing approximately 1,000 tonnes of carbon per hectare, contributing to climate change mitigation.
Unsustainable harvesting and human pressure led to a loss of 20% of Kenya's mangrove cover between 1985 and 2009.
Educating and raising awareness about mangroves are essential to preserving Kenya's coastal guardians for a sustainable future.