State of the Coast Report: Towards Integrated Management of Coastal and Marine Resources in Kenya.
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Corporate AuthorGovernment of Kenya
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AbstractThis inaugural State of the Coast Report describes the status of Kenya’s coastal and marine environment, demographic and resource-use trends, current impacts and threats to sustainability, and management measures to mitigate and prevent continued resource overexploitation and environmental degradation. The document will serve as the foundation for the development of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan for Kenya. Chapter 1 describes the biophysical settings of the Kenya coast, including coastal geomorphology, oceanography, hydrology and climatic influences on the various biophysical settings. The geology of the Kenya coast is mainly sedimentary, with a well developed fossil reef complex that is extensively exploited by the building industry. The coastal climate in Kenya is influenced by the monsoon winds and characterized by two distinct rainy seasons. The long rains occur between March and May, coinciding with South-East monsoons, and the short rains from October to December, corresponding with the North-East monsoons. Annual average rainfall along the coast varies from about 500–900 mm/year on the northern coast to 1000–1600 mm/year on the southern coast. Average temperatures range between 24 and 30 °C. The various marine and coastal ecosystems at the Kenyan coast, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, sandy beaches, sand dunes and terrestrial forests, are discussed in Chapter 2. These ecosystems provide livelihoods to local communities as well as important goods and services, which include cultural services. Mangroves, for instance, provide spawning grounds to many commercially important groups of fish and yield an array of direct products such as timber, fuelwood and medicines. Kenya’s coast is also home to numerous Threatened species—38% of the 159 tree and shrub species; 27% of the 71 birds species, and 5 of 9 mammalian species classified as Threatened occur here. These species include marine mammals (e.g. whales, dolphins and dugongs), sea turtles, shoreline birds, fish, and terrestrial species such as Colobus monkeys and Tana mangabeys. Chapter 3 is devoted to these species of special concern, highlighting their composition, habitats and status. Chapter 4 gives a socio-economic assessment of coastal communities and how they interact with the environment and its associated ecological services. The coastal population is estimated to be 2.5 million, which is 9.0% of the total country’s population. The largest indigenous ethnic group along the coast is Mijikenda, composed of nine sub-tribes. The Kenyan coast has over the centuries attracted diverse ethnic and racial groups, with the highest increase in population densities occurring in urban centres such as Mombasa and Malindi. Poverty is widespread in rural areas of the coastal region, ranging from 30% in Bura to 84% in Ganze. Land tenure has historically remained a contentious issue, with huge tracts of land being owned by absentee landlords and many households in rural constituencies living as squatters on the land. This issue hinders sustainable development, since the poor are more likely to engage in unsustainable resource-use practices in an effort to meet immediate survival needs. In Chapter 5 the various economic activities taking place at the Kenyan coast are discussed. Tourism and shipping are the highest contributors to the coastal economy, contributing 45% and 15% respectively. Artisanal fishery lands 95% of the total marine catch, contributes 6% to the coastal economy, and is the main source of livelihood for more than 60,000 households. However, there is growing concern about over-exploitation and the associated declining catch within inshore marine fisheries, while the offshore deep sea fisheries have remained largely unexploited by Kenya. The contribution of mining has remained low, but is likely to increase once a new titanium mining project in the South Coast starts active production for export. Most rural farmers at the coast still practice traditional farming methods, and rarely apply appropriate soil- and water-conservation measures. This has led to land degradation and perennially low crop yields. Consequently, the coastal population depends heavily on agricultural produce from outside the region. Due to unresolved land tenure issues, many of the local people do not have title deeds which they can use as collateral to secure credit for agricultural development. The challenges facing the sustainable utilization and management of coastal and marine resources are discussed in Chapter 6. Destructive practices (e.g. dynamite fishing, forest clearing, housing construction on the shoreline and land reclamation), pollution from industrial and domestic wastes, inappropriate land-use practices and unregulated development have individually and cumulatively led to resource overexploitation and environmental degradation. In addition, global climate change has led to altered rainfall patterns, droughts, floods and sea level changes. The impacts of these factors are manifested as significant physical alterations and degradation of habitats, leading to loss of livelihoods, changes in social structures, loss of cultural heritage and resource-use conflicts. The main drivers of these threats and impacts to coastal resources range from social (e.g. human population pressure), institutional and macro- and micro-economic issues; natural phenomena related to climate change; and institutional, e.g. limited knowledge, lack of technologies for cleaner production, and inadequate natural-resource-management capacity. A number of institutions are legally mandated to oversee the sustainable management of coastal resources. Section 55 of Environmental Management and Conservation Act (EMCA, 1999) specifically mandates NEMA to assess, plan and coordinate sustainable management of resources. The legal and institutional frameworks governing the management of Kenya’s coastal and marine resources, as well as international instruments to which Kenya is signatory, are discussed in Chapter 7. This chapter also reviews the roles of the various institutions currently engaged in this work. Chapter 8 of the report provides recommendations for possible interventions that would promote a healthy environment and sustainable management of coastal and marine resources. Some of the interventions proposed include: greater community involvement in resource management; adherence to the physical planning regulations for shoreline development; adoption of appropriate land-use practices to ensure soil and water conservation and improved crop yields; increased government support to coastal and marine conservation programmes; and application of an ecosystem approach in resource management. All these proposed interventions will be captured in the ICZM Plan currently under formulation.
Publisher or UniversityNational Environment Management Authority