Research into livelihoods, institutions and economic valuation of mangroves
Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes involve real people. Many of the organisations registering PES schemes for selling carbon credits want to see people benefiting from their participation in PES, particularly poor people.
So, it is important that the project finds out what the extent of poverty is in the communities of Gazi Bay, how people experience poverty and what people think funds generated from the PES scheme should be used for.
This is the main purpose of the research on livelihoods and institutions. Information generated from several research activities will be used to provide a baseline for the project, from which change can be monitored in future years. Information will also be used to contribute to the formation of the Community Forest Association and to the design of the PES scheme for Gazi Bay, known as Mikoko Pamoja.
Data collection is being carried out in three phases, with further analysis and writing up following the third phase.
Phase 1: January – August 2011
In Phase 1, preparation was undertaken for the generation of baseline data in Phase 2. Activities included:
- Literature reviews: Two reviews of literature were written to help the research team design the research tools and carry out analysis. The literature reviews focus on economic valuation methods and natural resource governance and PES schemes and poverty alleviation.
- Participatory rural appraisal: PRA exercises were carried out in the four communities of Gazi Bay to provide information on how poverty is experienced and understood, what the main sources of livelihoods are in the Bay and how these may vary seasonally, and which groups people belong to.
- Survey of economic valuation of mangrove use: the survey was designed to generate understanding of how much is extracted from the mangroves, which kinds of products and which species are exploited, and how the mangroves are managed. The results will feed into the design of further valuation studies in the project.
Phase 2: September – October 2011
- Interviews with village heads to find out what kinds of data is already collected on community members.
- Large household survey to contribute to baseline information on livelihoods and poverty.
- Collection of other baseline data needed for Mikoko Pamoja.
Phase 3: November 2011 – June 2012
- Further participatory rural appraisal exercises will be carried out to find out which groups are involved in the management and use of natural resources.
- Key informant interviews will be undertaken to find out more about existing management groups and responsibilities.
- Further work on economic valuation of mangroves will generate estimates of the economic valuation of mangrove products at a number of locations along the coast.
Ms. Tabitha Hillam (of Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute)