hii imekaa siielewi kabisa hebu mwenye kuelewa hii inavyofanya kazi atueleze. EA coastline dwellers to gain from carbon trade The Guardian Reporter Communities living on the East African coastline will soon be earning cash from the global carbon emissions trade, according to a pilot project by regional based marine and fisheries research institute. The project targets those living near mangrove forests and will involve imparting skills on how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that capture, store, analyse, manage, and present data linked to a particular location. The trainees are drawn from Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. The 150m/- project covers 700 hectares of forest at Gazi in Msambweni- South Coast that is estimated to have a population of one million mangrove trees and is expected to boost efforts to protect the trees providing over 70 per cent of wood required in the region. Scientists at the Kenyan Marine and Fisheries Research Institute say the trade will encourage communities to plant more mangrove trees to replenish the declining stock of aquatic life. Global carbon offset is a new concept intended to tackle global warming. Though it dates back to 1989, it only took shape as a market after the Kyoto Protocol on global warming was signed and came into force in February 2005. The protocol requires industrialised countries to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by an average 5.2 per cent compared to 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Rather than force the reduction of emissions country-by-country, carbon emission trade creates a choice where huge polluters can spend the money to cover the costs of cutting pollution or else continue polluting and pay someone else to cut their pollution, which is what the East African countries now want to cash in on. A global market for carbon emission trade, which according to World Bank was estimated at USD64bn in 2007 has not benefited African countries, according to Dr James Kairo, the project co-ordinator and marine scientists at KMFRI. The organisation has partnered with other agencies in spearheading the initiative. During the opening of the training dubbed Mangrove Assessment, Restoration and Evaluation in East Africa (CAMARV) at Gazi, Dr Kairo said the project is supported by universities of Southampton, Bangor in the UK and Ecometrica, a UK company specialising in collection and analysis of ecosystems data. He said the net benefit of carbon emission trade using mangrove forests is close to USD3, 000 per hectare yearly, which is more than income generated from the sale of the wood products. Mangrove forest in Coast Province covers 54,000 hectares, which is three per cent of the total forest cover in the country. Experts say this is sufficient to provide the residents a window to participate in carbon emission trade and replenish stocks of fish. Africa is lagging other regions in carbon trading due to lack of technical capacity, said Dr Kairo, adding that the continent has been relying on international experts for support. "It is for this reason that KMFRI with the support from a UK research organisation has launched a training programme that will give skills to selected community groups to engage in the global carbon emission trade," Kairo said. Trainees will be equipped on using scientific methods to "assess the carbon content of the aquatic trees and value it for commercial purposes." Threatened ecosystem, the one-year project that covers assessment of the trees is funded by the United Kingdom Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), he said. KMFRI Centre director Dr Daniel Munga said the mangrove forest is among the most threatened ecosystems and in Kenya alone, "we have witnessed a 20 per cent decline in the forest cover over the last two decades."