Women’s Community Conservation: The Effects of Mangrove Restoration Project in Gazi Bay, Kwale County, Kenya
Conserving the Earth’s natural resources in order to counteract the effects of human induced climate change is an issue that affects the collective fate of our planet. Mangrove forests are one of our most valuable natural resources in mitigating air pollution due to their natural ability to sequester carbon dioxide. Conservation projects often take place in regions that are populated by some of our most vulnerable and overlooked populations in developing countries; rather than involving local communities in the efforts, we repeatedly see their exclusion from projects affecting resources with which they have coexisted for generations. By studying the focus populations, the local communities and women, and their involvement with the Kenyan community based mangrove conservation project Mikoko Pamoja, we may better understand how community oriented models work in the conservation field. From my research I have found that community involvement is an integral element to Mikoko Pamoja’s longevity, but also from it sparks its strongest critics towards the project. Additionally, this project has showed a slow but steady process of normalizing womens’ involvement in conservation activities.