New Community Marine Protected Area Created in Lamu 

Nairobi, December 11, 2020:

On December 10, 2020, a unique and special community marine protected area was created in Kinyika, located 17 Kilometers from Lamu Town. Securing Kinyika will protect fish breeding areas thus assuring fisheries livelihoods, education and research opportunities, and the ecotourism potential.

Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), local community members have come together to ensure that the new ecosystem is well maintained and protected. The MoU was signed between the Beach Management Unit of Shella/Manda, Amu, Lamu Fisheries Department, Dhow operators, Lamu Tour Guide Association, Shella Tour Guide Association, Promise/Ahadi, and the Lamu Marine Conservation Trust (LaMCoT) in facilitation towards the Implementation of the Co-management plan for Kinyika Co-Management Area (CMA).

“WildlifeDirect has filmed marine-related episodes for the Wildlife Warriors TV Series and have yet to come across such a unique and special marine ecosystem,” stated Dr. Paula Kahumbu, WildlifeDirect CEO.

Jahawi Bertolli, a filmmaker, photographer, and music producer, made a short film about Kinyika, Bahari Yetu (Our Ocean) in Kiswahili, which was shortlisted for an award at the 2020 Jackson Wild Film Festival. The film illustrates the beauty of Kinyika, and the dangers of coral reef destruction. It was used to showcase Kinyika for the local communities, few of whom have ever been below the surface to appreciate the beauty of the coral ecosystem around the rocky Kinyika Island.

“We need to set up a string of marine protected areas to ensure Lamu’s coastal ecosystem is protected. To do it properly, you need to involve all the community stakeholders,” stated Jahawi Bertolli.

The United Nations Environmental Program recognizes the need to protect life below water and seeks to support a sustainable Blue Economy as lives and the global economy depend on the planet’s ocean and seas. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets seeks to protect 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services.

For more information, please contact:

Victoria Wangui – WildlifeDirect, Communications Assistant

Email:  +254 (0) 715 845 128

About WildlifeDirect:

WildlifeDirect is a Kenyan based conservation organization that has transformed anti-poaching results in Kenya through the award-winning conservation campaign “Hands Off Our Elephants” and the production of Africa wildlife documentaries.  The vision of WildlifeDirect is changing hearts and minds and laws to ensure that Africa’s wildlife endure forever. WildlifeDirect produces wildlife documentary series’ as part of its mission to connect Kenyans to their wildlife and nature and inspire them to treasure it and act to conserve it.