ABSTRACT

Hamza, A.J.; Esteves, L.S.; Cvitanovic, M., and Kairo, J., 2020. Past and present utilization of mangrove resources in Eastern Africa and drivers of change In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 39–44. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

Mangroves offer natural coastal protection and are carbon sinks, playing a key role in mitigating climate change impacts. Despite their recognized importance as the main livelihood of many coastal communities in developing countries, mangroves are being lost at fast rates impacting overwhelmingly the poorest people. The pressures of changing climate and human activities urge a better understanding of the drivers leading to mangrove loss and degradation and the effects on coastal communities. A systematic literature search was undertaken to review the current understanding of how mangroves have been used through time in Kenya and identify the key drivers of change. Results from 32 articles identified extraction of wood for construction and fuel as the major use of mangrove in Kenya. Direct needs of mangrove resources are the major cause of changes in the mangrove areas and this is due to lack of harvesting plans. The paper emphasizes the need to identify ways in which changes in mangroves can become opportunities to improve coastal communities living conditions.

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