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Integrated coastal zone management in Kenya: initial experiences and progress
Okemwa, E. N.; Ruwa, R. K.; Mwandotto, B.A.J. (1997). Integrated coastal zone management in Kenya: initial experiences and progress. Ocean Coast. Manag. 37(3): 319-347.
In: Ocean & Coastal Management. Elsevier Science: Barking. ISSN 0964-5691; e-ISSN 1873-524X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    coastal resources, environmental degradation, rapid development

Authors  Top 
  • Okemwa, E. N.
  • Ruwa, R. K., more
  • Mwandotto, B.A.J.

    Land and ocean interactions make coastlines unique zones with equally unique resources and environment that attract an ever increasing human population. This scenario has caused depletion of some coastal resources and environmental degradation. However, the paradox is that despite the decline in coastal resources and the quality of the environment, those residing in these zones do not abandon their settlements and migrate elsewhere, but import resources to sustain their survival and enjoy the coastal environment at expensive costs. The combined commercial and aesthetic values of the resources and the coastal environment are the foundations of various economic mainstay activities. As with other coastlines of the world, Kenya's coastline faces various types of environmental impacts due to rapid development activities mostly associated with tourism, industry, agricultural activity and fishing. The 600 km Kenyan coastline lies in a semi-arid region and the following is its brief profile. Kenya's fringing reef system spans almost continuously along the coast from the Kenya/Tanzania border to Malindi, with scattered fringing reefs northward to Somalia. This extensive reef system is critical to activities such as fishing and tourism. Kenya took the lead in Africa by establishing protected marine areas and today there are four marine parks and six marine reserves, encompassing 5% of Kenya's reef areas. The coastal resources of importance in Kenya include beaches, coral reefs, mangroves, Kaya forests, seagrass beds, marine and inland reserves and historic sites. They provide the foundation for today's Kenyan coastal economy. Kenya's coastline has about 53 000 ha of mangroves occurring mostly in creeks, bays and estuaries. The mangroves are most significantly used for their wood, both commercially and at the subsistence level.

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