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Understanding changes in mangrove forests and the implications to community livelihood and resource management in Kenya.

Hamza, A., 2022. Understanding changes in mangrove forests and the implications to community livelihood and resource management in Kenya. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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HAMZA, Amina_Ph.D._2022.pdf
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Mangrove forests support the livelihoods of many coastal communities in developing countries. Mangrove forests around the world are being lost due to a combination of human and natural pressures. There is an intricate relationship between resource use and degradation and resource-dependent communities. Dependency on resources can lead to an ecosystem's degradation if management disregards local people's needs. Degraded mangroves are more vulnerable to environmental changes and may be less able to provide the ecosystem services and goods that are crucial to the livelihood of local people. The key outcome of sustainable resource management is to identify ways to improve both environmental quality and the living conditions of the local communities. Therefore, the sustainable management of mangrove forests requires an understanding of: (a) how mangroves are used by local communities; (b) the local perceptions of changes happening in the mangrove areas and (c) how changes in mangroves are affecting local livelihoods including adaptation options. Focussing on coastal Kenya and using Lamu as a case study, this multi-method research used systematic literature review, household surveys, participatory consultation workshops, land use land cover change analysis, and ecosystem services modelling to understand local mangrove uses, perceptions of change in mangroves and the implications to uses and users, including adaptation options. The thesis first provides an overview of mangrove ecosystem services and the global utilization of mangrove resources. The contribution of mangroves to fisheries is the most researched ecosystem service followed by habitat use and carbon sequestration and storage. The review indicates that wood used for construction and fuel is the mangrove resource most often mentioned in the literature, and it is often associated with the loss of mangrove forests. A survey conducted in 592 households in five locations in Lamu county noted high levels of dependency on mangrove forests and varying perceptions about changes in mangrove areas and drivers of change. The variation is noted across gender, occupation, and location of respondents. Most of the respondents indicated a perceived increase in mangrove cover in the last decade. In contrast, an analysis of land cover data shows a decrease in mangrove cover in Lamu county and Kenya at a very slow rate (0.01% annual average between 2010-2019), with areas closer to settlements exhibiting higher deforestation rates. Mangrove loss also increases the exposure of local areas to coastal hazards. Analysis using the InVEST coastal vulnerability model indicates that 16% of the country’s coastline is currently at a relatively higher risk of exposure to coastal hazards. This may increase to 25% with the loss of mangroves and to 41% if coral reefs are also lost. Although coral reefs contribute the most to reducing the proportion of the country’s coastline to exposure, mangroves contribute the most in Lamu and Tana River counties. Stakeholders’ consultations conducted in Lamu, Kwale and Kilifi counties identified differences between communities regarding perceived key threats and the adaptation options being employed. The threats identified during these consultations were dominantly related to human use and climate change was a lower concern. Although overharvesting of wood resources was identified as a common threat, coping strategies for this threat differ along the coast. While some counties are using an alternative source of wood, others are switching to alternative methods of construction (bricks, cement) and fuel (LPG gas). Subsidies for communities to use alternatives to mangrove products and seasonal or rotational closure of mangrove areas are some of the proposed interventions for mangrove resource sustainability. In addition, while the ban on mangrove harvesting was noted to be beneficial in Kwale county as it supported conservation efforts in place, it was observed to be detrimental in Lamu county due to traditionally depending on mangrove harvesting and use. To be effective and sustainable, the management needs to take into account local perceptions and needs and recognize differences across neighbouring communities. A framework that provides key steps that can be taken to assess adaptation needs and alternatives was developed in this study. The study also identified the need for long-term alternatives for the livelihoods of those depending on mangroves. These alternatives can only be realized if the management of mangrove areas includes opportunities to build local skills and capacity while recognising that needs vary across locations.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager
Uncontrolled Keywords:textual analysis; sentiment; narrative disclosures; annual report; from 10-K; integrated thesis;
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:38004
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:13 Jan 2023 14:16
Last Modified:23 Jan 2024 10:01


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