COMMUNITY BASED ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION (COBEC) COBEC was formed in 2009 following increased reports of marine environmental degradation, habitats destruction and sea turtle mortalities caused by illegal poaching of turtle eggs, meat and threats from resource users.
Mission To facilitate and empower local people to manage and conserve natural resources within the social, cultural and economic context of their communities
Goal To conserve the natural resource heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of wildlife.
COBEC sees education and awareness as the key to providing
people with knowledge, awareness, attitudes and values to
implement sustainable outcomes. However, education needs to
be more broadly based than just providing information.
COBEC’s education and awareness programme is intensive
promotion of information within a context of learning by
those on the receiving end and usually is combined with relevant action.
The awareness programme has been purpose-built to match particular audiences or recipients, whether they are officers or councillors in local government staff in government staff in government agencies, community groups, industry, students in formal education e.t.c COBEC conducts awareness programmes through organised workshops, video visits, video presentations, production of newsletters, leaflets, stickers, posters.
Poverty, increasing population pressure, and lack
of education and awareness, commonly result in over-fishing and
illegal/destructive habits along the Kenyan coast. The increasing
destruction of these natural resources ultimately impacts negatively
on the lives of the coastal communities, resulting in a cycle of
poverty and environmental abuse.
COBEC works towards developing alternative income generating opportunities with the ultimate long term goal being to reduce pressure on natural resources to sustainable levels. With the introduction of income generating activities, the community will have direct sources of livelihood thus help reduce the level of poverty.
COBEC protects and recuperate areas that have been destructed
to ensure that the ecosystems remain balanced. The importance
of these ecosystems and the role they play has led to COBEC
design and implement this programme with activities including
beach cleaning and mangrove restoration. Among the reasons
leading to habitat restoration include;
Coastal wetlands, mangroves, and other coastal systems are highly productive, diverse habitats on which thousands of species depend. Beaches are unique coastal environments with ecological, recreational and economic value adaptive management is vital to stay abreast of natural cycles of change.
Sea turtles are prioritized for conservation through their listing in the
respective texts of appendices of various conventions including the convention
on the convention on migratory species (CMS), the convention on International
Trade in Endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES-appendix1) and the
World Conservation Union (IUCN) as their endangered or critically endangered
(IUCN-EARO and IUCN/SSC,1996).
COBEC encourages on-the-ground conservation actions and efforts that have the largest impact in preventing extinctions. COBEC focus on:
• Protecting nesting beaches
• Reducing incidental and direct take
• Restoring the health of near-shore breeding and foraging environments
• Research and information dissemination
COBEC has two programmes that promote sea turtle conservation. One is by a catch release programme where COBEC works with fishermen and community turtle attendants to collect turtles accidentally caught by fishermen and release them back to the sea. The other programme is beach patrol, nest mapping and monitoring. Patrolling is done on the beach to find out any nesting turtles. Patrolmen are expected to fill nesting information forms any time a nest is identified. Monitoring will continue until hatchings come out.
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