RCE Greater Pwani - 2019

Location

Kenya
KE
WORLD HERITAGE IN YOUNG SCHOOL CHILDREN’S HANDS
Basic Information
Title of project : 
WORLD HERITAGE IN YOUNG SCHOOL CHILDREN’S HANDS
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Pwani
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE-Greater Pwani
Kilio Cha Haki Youth Group (KCHYG)
Kilifi County Natural Resources Network (KICORNET)
Coastal Forest Conservation Unit (CFCU)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Hamisi Tsama Mkuzi
Organizational Affiliation: 
Pwani University
Format of project: 
Manuscript
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Monday, December 24, 2018
SDG 15: Life on Land
At what level is the policy operating?: 
International
Goal 13: Climate Action
At what level is the policy operating?: 
International
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Africa and Middle East
Country: 
Kenya
Location(s): 
Kilifi County
Address of focal point institution for project: 
P.O BOX 195 Kilifi, 80108
Ecosystem(s):
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The community in the area mainly consist of the Mijikenda group which is a composition of 9 tribes. The common and main socio-economic activities practiced by all 9 tribes is subsistence farming. Each of the 9 tribes are uniquely identified by an indigenous forest called 'Kaya Forest' where their ancestral parents used to live. However, due to changing climate, people have started spreading out in search of fertile grounds to practice farming which has become unpredictable due to poor rainfall.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Kaya forests are hotspots of biodiversity and culture within Coastal Kenya. They are islands of forests in the midst of densely populated rural poor communities with a high dependency on them for their livelihoods. Despite their protection as National monuments, forest reserves and world heritage sites, they face a number of challenges emanating from poor connection with children, youth and women. The kaya elders’ institution is weak to enforce the rules in the society. Additionally, the kaya elders who manage the sites on a day to day basis are becoming fewer over the years due to natural attrition, killing by youth and low interest by the youth to take leadership roles. The youth have a low understanding of the value of the forests and the important roles the elders play in their conservation. This creates a knowledge gap among the young and women resulting in the destruction of the forests and loss of important biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Contents
Status: 
Ongoing
Period: 
December, 2018 to June, 2020
Rationale: 
The younger generation including school going children and youth make an important demographic proportion in the society and whose potentials can be harnessed for substantial contribution in the conservation of the kaya world heritage sites. The perpetual existence of the sacred kaya forests though largely threatened by encroachment and overexploitation of resources depends on a greater extent to the young generation particularly the children in schools. Most of the kaya forests destruction is by the youth and women. The size of the forests is progressively decreasing and most plant species disappearing hence affecting the animal diversity that highly depends on these ecosystems. This coupled by the fact that these important forests have for a very long time been left in the custody of the elders. While the old age could have been the best match for such an important resource largely linked with cultural importance, there has not been any deliberate efforts to recruit more elders and or youthful custodians. The younger generation and women have a low understanding and interest of the kaya forests and the value of these precious heritages. There has not been enough awareness creation to children in schools, youth and women with regards to the importance of these resources. Previous efforts in work with school children has been at a lower scale, one off activity and involved only talks and visits to kaya with no linkage to tree growing in their schools and homes by the students. As such a knowledge gap is evident between the older generation and the younger generations with misconceptions, suspicion and mistrust on any older persons associated with the Kaya forests. The cultural beliefs and folklores that sustain the forests resources are no longer revered and senseless destruction characterizes the Kaya forests. It is common for older people to be accused of witchcraft and herbalists shunned from society. The knowledge gap continues to widen as the older generation who are custodian of indigenous knowledge become fewer and the younger generation least interested in the knowledge. As a matter of fact, there seems to be a total disconnect between the elders and the society with regards to knowledge transfer. The future of the kaya forests relies on a highly sensitized youthful citizenry and this is achievable through a sustained educational and awareness campaign to the lower class students in primary schools within a 5 km radius of the Kaya Jibana forests. This will heighten the understanding of the values of the forests in order to guarantee sustainability of conservation interventions of the kaya forests.
Objectives: 
To develop a colorful picture book to enhance awareness and understanding among school children on the values of kaya forests in order to be exceptional stewards of the land and natural resources.
To bridge the knowledge gap between kaya elders, Children, youth and women
To promote planting of useful indigenous trees in schools and at home
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Activity A: Awareness and Mobilizing for support
Hold a meeting with the KCHYG management committee to inform them on the project funding and identify the Project Implementation Committee;
Hold a meeting with the county director of education in Kilifi County, Department of Culture and ICT, and Department of Environment;
Hold a multi-stakeholder dialogue workshop to involve relevant people in the project;
Hold a meeting with head teachers in all participating schools;
Hold a one day TOT workshop with 4 environment teachers from each participating school;
Hold a one day launch meeting with teachers and kaya elders;
Hold talks with standard 1 to 5 school children in the 4 selected schools;
Undertake an essay competition for 100 standard 4 and 5 students (all schools), mark and grade;
Hold a prize giving ceremony;

Activity B: Bridging the knowledge gap between kaya elders, Children, youth and women;
Conduct kaya forests visit to students and teachers in all schools within 5km radius from the kaya forests boundaries;
Prepare materials and pictures for one colorful picture book for kaya awareness to school children and printing of 100 copies;

Activity C: Promoting planting of useful indigenous trees in schools and at home;
Procure 10,000 seedlings for planting in schools and homes of students;
Monitor woodlots in schools and randomly in students’ homes - Visit all schools and assess health of planted trees at school and students homes and award marks;

Activity D: Assessing project implementation
Hold Project Implementation Committee Meetings (3 meetings in the first year & 2 meetings in the second year);
Size of academic audience: 
2,000 students
Results: 
1. A colorful picture book for school children awareness produced and distributed to Kaya cluster schools.
2. Established woodlots in target schools.
3. An essay competition for Kaya conservation undertaken and winners prized
Lessons learned: 
Investing in children on conservation matter is the only surest way of ensuring a sustainable future. As they grow, such knowledge becomes part of their life and beneficial to the environment for both their generation and the future.
Key messages: 
The project will enhance understanding and inculcate a culture of tree growing and good guardianship to young people in the community and help raise the tree cover in the landscape. The project period is 18 months but will be continued every year with support from our partners and the network.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The project is related to what RCE - Greater has been doing over the years; educating the community through ESD with a view of ensuring sustainable future.
Funding: 
UNDP -GEF SGP (United Nations Development Program - Global Environmental Facility Small Grant Program)

Pictures:

File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon 20190228.jpg (1.43 MB) Kaya Elders Ready to host students in their Kaya Forests H. Mkuzi
Image icon 20190224.jpg (1.37 MB) Children listening to Talks about the Sacred Kaya Forests H. Mkuzi
Image icon 20190226_122710.jpg (3.31 MB) Kaya Elders Giving Talks and interacting with students during Student Talks Session H. Mkuzi
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
Indirect
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
Indirect
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Indirect
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
Indirect
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Indirect
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
Indirect
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
Indirect
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
Indirect
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
Indirect
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Indirect
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Indirect
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Direct
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Direct
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Indirect
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Indirect
Theme
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Indirect
Traditional Knowledge  
Direct
Agriculture 
Indirect
Curriculum Development 
Indirect
Ecotourism 
Indirect
Forests/Trees 
Direct
Plants & Animals 
Indirect
Waste 
Indirect
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Direct
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Direct
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Direct
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Direct
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
Direct