Course theme

Type of course


Beyond the reef: assessing ecosystem services arising from coral reef restoration to improve livelihoods in Shimoni, Kenya

  • 1 December, 2019
  • Wageningen University, Marine Animal Ecology
  • prof. dr AJ Murk
  • dr MAJ Lamersdr R Osinga

Wasini Channel situated along the Kenyan South Coast, is an important marine habitat that provides livelihoods to the local communities living on the Wasini Island and mainland Shimoni villages. Coral reefs along the channel provide key ecosystem services such as coastal protection, aesthetic beauty, tourism, and subsistence fisheries to the locals. Despite their importance, coral reefs within the channel continue to experience human pressure from unsustainable fishing practises like overharvesting, nets, spearfishing, and anchors leading to degradation. In trying to reverse the damage, a coral reef restoration initiative led by REEFolution Kenya, is ongoing since 2015. REEFolution Kenya works with local inhabitants of Mkwiro village, Wasini Island to restore healthy reef within the channel using artificial reefs made of concrete structures. The primary aim of the initiative is to restore and stimulate sustainable use of coral reefs to reduce the increasing environmental pressure. However, the coral reef restoration impacts to locals and the environment are yet to determine whether the expected expectations are attained.
This PhD project aims to assess the societal impacts on the local people’s livelihood. Further, examine stakeholder’s engagement and their motivation/roles in reef restoration. I will explore the potential cooperation for alternative sustainable livelihood avenue as well as identifying and quantifying coral reef related ecosystem services. The project aspires to quantify the impacts of the restoration efforts as perceived by the reef inhabitants. The results will contribute to scientific knowledge and advance the understanding of environmental changes and their impact on coastal people, society, marine environment nature, and best approaches of finding sustainable solutions for environmental improvement and livelihoods. This fits well with WIMEK mission. To achieve the results, a qualitative research will be conducted using semi-structed interviews, focus group discussion and participant observation during different phases of the project. Secondary data will be sourced and analysed from various and relevant literature related to the project. The project site will be in Shimoni, South Coast of Kenya.


Joshua Wambugu

shape Banner
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.
More information
shape Banner
Here you will find a selection of international events related to the socio-economic and natural sciences of the environment.
View our events