Kinyika Co-Managed Marine Area – Project Update
In April 2022, LEF awarded a grant to LAMCOT to assist in the creation of a Co-Managed Marine Area around Kinyika. The aim of this project is to protect the vital reefs around Kinyika through improved Beach Management Unit (BMU) governance and alternative income generation projects.
As this was our most ambitious project to date, there was a lot of work that needed to be done to build the capacity of LAMCOT and LEF in order to give the project the best opportunity to succeed.
Here’s a quick update on all the work that has happened so far…
Overview of Activities
Due to the large scope of this project, it was important that before diving into any activities that the workplan and overall budget of the project were reviewed. This involved a consultancy process between LEF and LAMCOT to assist in developing the project further and prioritising activities.
During this stage of the project, LEF introduced LAMCOT to Blue Ventures who have extensive experience in working with BMUs to strengthen governance and capacity. It is especially important that this phase of the project is carried out effectively to support the creation of a co-managed marine area otherwise the sustainability of the project will be limited.
After Blue Ventures’ first visit in May 2022, they advised LAMCOT to hold a large stakeholder meeting to discuss Kinyika with 10 BMUs across Lamu County. LEF supported this activity.
- 10 BMUs convened with a total of 56 participants including members from the Lamu County Government and Fisheries departments.
- Participants discussed the issues facing Kinyika so that LAMCOT could understand the threats from the stakeholder’s point of view.
- Potential solutions to protecting Kinyika were tabled.
- LAMCOT and the participants discussed the lessons everyone had learnt from the creation of a previously protected area.
- LAMCOT shared a presentation with scientific findings from a recent coral survey undertaken with CORDIO.
Review of Outcomes
LAMCOT learnt that the aims and objectives of the BMUs were much the same as their own aims – to protect Kinyika.
All the BMUs were very keen to commence the project and were excited to have support to do so as they had felt it was a large problem without clear solutions. They were very supportive of receiving training etc. To improve their own capacity to create a strong community governance system to manage marine resources.
Due to the positive feedback from the BMUs, Blue Ventures were invited to return to share their results. They agreed to support LAMCOT in strengthening BMUs to improve fisheries management and aid in the creation of a protected area around Kinyika.
As the BMU aspect of this project is core to the overall success of the project, LAMCOT will be focusing their energies on this aspect of the project with the support of funding and advice from Blue Ventures.
LAMCOT are keeping LEF up to date and they expect that in 2023, there will be more opportunities for partnership with LEF as they expand the Kinyika project to find alternative income streams for BMU members.
Until then, we are very excited to see this project get underway and can’t wait to be more active with LAMCOT again in 2023!