The Mikoko project is particular since it includes the local communities in its very heart. This conviction led the French-Kenyan team of this program dedicated to the conservation of the mangrove forests of the Kenyan coast to the field from November 25th to 28th.

Their aim was to meet the inhabitants of the Lamu region, the real beneficiaries of the services provided by the mangrove and the most vulnerable to the decline of its forests. The researchers thus visited five villages in order to meet the populations, to introduce the project and to include them in its implementation. Among the inhabitants participating, some came Community Forest Associations, Beach Management Units, mangrove cutters and Women Groups involved in any mangrove activity.

The Mikoko project team meeting inhabitants of Lamu.

© Richard Bremond

The project team was thus able to gather the opinions and ideas of local communities in the region: lack of training in mangrove management, practical need about fisheries or aquaculture, advice on local mangrove plantation, need for equipment, best cutting practices, etc.

On the third day, the community leaders were invited to participate in a joint workshop in Lamu, where the scientists presented the future collaborative platform among others. This platform makes information on the ecosystem of the mangrove accessible but also encourages everyone to contribute to its good management.