Protecting Marine Cultural Heritage through Bio Cultural Community Protocol in Kilifi County
The project will empower local communities within Kilifi County with a bio-cultural community protocol that the local communities can use to negotiate with external actors and advocate for their rights. Local communities are actively seeking recognition of customary systems of governance and management, including traditional knowledge and practices, and their roles in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. These customary systems of governance have traditionally been used by these communities and have been passed down through generations via oral traditions but are in danger of being lost due to globalization. They can also not be shared with external stakeholders because they are in oral form. The failure to involve and respect communities whether intentional or not has led to conflict, deterioration of otherwise constructive relations, and negative impacts on the environment. Documentation of bio-cultural community protocols will involve working with both the youth and the elders. To this end, our main interest will be the documentation of the distribution of MCH resources and associated indigenous knowledge and their uses. Further, together with the local youth, we shall map the entire available marine cultural heritage.The research methodology will include literature review, focus group discussions and key informant interviews to generate primary data. The expected outputs include a Geographical Information Systems database of the marine heritage resources, a bio cultural community protocol and a document that can be used to advise policy. The project will have both long and short term impacts. In the short term, the local communities will have increased awareness of their legal and customary rights particularly those concerning stewardship of their resources and territories. In the long term using these protocols, the MCH resources will be protected for sustainable harnessing and utilization leading to improved livelihoods.