Oceans Alive continues a journey that started over 20 years ago, having helped start Kenya’s first Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) in Kuruwitu on the North Kenya Coast. The resulting LMMA movement has led to over 40 other community-led initiatives in the region directly influenced by our model. The next logical step was to create a cohesive approach to the sustainable management of our marine resources driven by the communities that rely on them. Oceans Alive brings these communities and all relevant stakeholders together under a collaborative management approach. In early 2022, the first Oceans Alive driven Co-managed plan in Kenya (under the new guidelines) was signed off after an extensive and thorough process placing an area of 150 sq kilometers under controlled community-led management.
MISSION & HISTORY.
Our mission: to create, connect and catalyse co-management initiatives by providing support to coastal communities, sharing relevant knowledge, and building capacity.
Over the years we have listened, thought, experimented, learned, and developed this locally-led model. Our LMMA (Tengefu in Swahili) approach in Kuruwitu led to a 30% recovery in corals, 17% restoration of seagrass, and a 400% increase in biomass just 4 years after closure. We are using this solid foundation as a living classroom to share and expand our support to communities all along the coast and catalyse coastal conservation. We use a 6 step process in our Co-management approach. Through investing in this cohesive process we support community willingness to invest in management and enforcement, thereby ensuring ownership that brings long-term sustainability.
Oceans Alive was founded to show, grow and replicate 20 years of experience in groundbreaking community-based resource management having founded and managed Kuruwitu Conservation and Welfare CBO (KCW CBO), winner of the 2017 Equator Prize. This community of forward-thinking fishers, individuals, and stakeholders spearheaded the LMMA movement in Kenya, influencing many other similar projects in the Western Indian Ocean.
As the locally-led LMMA model grew (now over 30 LMMA's in Kenya) it became obvious that other communities were facing the same challenges that KCW CBO had experienced over our 20-year history as we developed in an area that was both groundbreaking and unchartered. It became evident that with a clear management strategy, structure, security of tenure, and a collaborative plan involving all relevant stakeholders, there was hope for a long-term sustainable future for our marine ecosystems and the communities that rely on them.
The next logical step was to form an overarching organisation that delivers a structured, cohesive approach to environmentally based resource management. Oceans Alive now works with the newly formed Beach Management Units (BMU's) to upscale our nature-based solutions through Collaborative Managed Areas
Oceans Alive Trust is founded on the value of partnerships. Thanks to the work in collaboration with organisations of different sectors, we are able to increase our impact on the environment and the communities in which we operate.