Mangrove Course: The Western Indian Ocean Region

Mangrove Course Kenya Logos

Partners: WIOMSA , UNU-INWEH, KMFRI, Mangrove Network, UNEPUniversity of NairobiAnnemalai UniversityCordio, WWF, MFF


About the Course (December 02, 2013 – December 10, 2013):

This International Training Course on Mangrove Ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean premiered in the region after several successful past trainings held annually in India since 2004, organized by the United Nations University, UNESCO and Annamalai University. The course was held over nine days at the University of Nairobi’s Moana Field Research Station in Diani, Kenya; and at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute’s Mangrove Center in Gazi.

In total, 24 participants attended from throughout the WIO region. Participants were a mix of young professionals, academics, park rangers and managers that deal with mangroves. The course was comprised of lectures, group discussions, and demonstrations, and covered diverse topics including, mangrove biology and ecology, faunal and floral diversity, restoration and management tools, ecosystem-based climate change adaptation and mitigation, coastal resilience, mangrove fisheries, mangrove communities and livelihoods, as well as the use of economics, policies and laws for mangrove protection.

Two field visits to the mangroves of Gazi Bay were included to familiarize the participants with advanced methodologies in mangrove taxonomy, forest assessment and monitoring. The mangroves of Gazi Bay form broad and diverse forests which are heavily relied upon by local people for food and fuel, are the basis for ecotourism activities, form part of an interconnected coastal ecosystem that includes seagrasses and coral reefs, and have been well-studied. Therefore, this location afforded an excellent opportunity for students to observe and engage with the many issues pertinent to mangrove ecology and management which they learned about in lectures and group discussions. Participants also visited Shimba Hills on the day after the official closing ceremony of the course. This provided an opportunity for students to observe land-sea interactions and possible effects on mangroves.

Course Evaluation Reports (2013):

Click the images below to read the 2013 WIO Mangrove Course Evaluation Reports!

UNU-INWEH WIO Mangrove Training Course Report
WIO Mangrove Training Course Report
UNU-INWEH Student Evaluation Report (2013 WIO Mangrove Course)
Student Evaluation Report (2013 WIO Mangrove Course)


  • To reinforce and increase the capacity of young professionals, academics, park rangers, managers and institutions in the WIO region to undertake characterization, monitoring, risk assessment, management and restoration of critical mangrove ecosystems;
  • To increase the awareness of the ecological roles, economic importance, and cultural significance of mangrove ecosystems;
  • To understand the impact of climate change and associated anthropogenic pressures on mangrove ecosystems and opportunities thereof.
  • To promote and encourage sharing of knowledge and experiences.



The course was held at the University of Nairobi (UoN) field research facility, Moana Station in Diani, Kenya and at KMFRI’s Mangrove Center in Gazi.


Topics Covered in the Course Included:

Biology, ecology, Faunal and Floral diversity, restoration and management tools, propagation, climate change adaptation, carbon sequestration, resilience, fisheries, communities and livelihoods, economics, field monitoring and assessment tools and laws and policies.

 To view the tentative schedule for the Mangrove Course for the WIO Region, download the PDF here.


Selection Criteria

The training course had approximately 24 participants from throughout the WIO region. The intended audience for this training were managers, academics, and institutions that deal with mangroves. Participants had a Bachelors level education or comparable experience in management agency or NGO context. Course applications were through the UNU INWEH course website. Selection criteria for participants included:

  • relevant academic background (coastal and marine issues) or relevant work experience
  • proficiency in English
  • institutionally well-grounded; ideally also able to replicate training
  • some research experience is preferred
  •  a reasonable justification for receiving a fellowship
  •  letter of support from employer
  • developing-country nationality

Age and gender were also noted.

View the Application Form: Application Form (PDF) or Application Form (MS WORD).

(Applications now closed)




Jared BosireJared Bosire has a PhD in Marine Ecology and has worked at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute for the last 17 years. He is currently the Assistant Director for the Marine and Coastal Research Division at KMFRI. His passion all the while has been on mangrove ecology and conservation ranging from restoration ecology, ecosystem functioning, resource assessment, human impacts on mangrove ecosystems and more recently climate change impacts. He has been a PI of many national and regional projects as well as lead technical expert/consultant e.g. Lead Consultant on Impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation along the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts awarded by the E. African Wildlife Society; Mangrove Expert in “Climate Change Impacts to Madagascar’s Biodiversity & Livelihoods” team advising the Malagasy government on climate change strategy, vulnerability assessments, mitigation and adaptation and Lead Consultant/technical expert in the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Project on Coastal climate change mitigation and adaptation through REDD+ carbon programs in mangroves in Mozambique among others. Jared also led a WIO Mangrove Experts team in developing a state-of-the art model on the vulnerability of WIO mangroves to climate change and associated anthropogenic pressures, which will be published shortly. Additionally, Jared is the Coordinator of the WIO Mangrove Network.

Dr. KathiresanDr. K. Kathiresan is the Director of the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Sciences, at Annamalai University. He has over 29 years of teaching experience and has published 390 papers, 7 books, and was contributed as one among the 19 global scientists to identify the globally threatened species of mangroves based on IUCN criteria (2010). Dr. Kathiresan discovered a new plant species in the mangrove forest. It is the only endemic species of mangroves in India and is named after his university “Rhizophora annamalayana Kathir”. Dr. Kathiresan has developed techniques for restoration of mangroves in degraded coasts and demonstrated these techniques to work in the field along the south east coast (Vellar estuary and Pondicherry). He has received the Life Time Achievement Award for his contribution to marine microbiology, by Indian Association of Applied Microbiologists, Chennai.

melita-web photo smlMelita Samoilys has worked on coral reef research and management in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and in Sudan’s Red Sea since the early 1980s. Her particular areas of interest and experience are in fisheries, reproductive biology of groupers particularly spawning aggregations, coral reef fish diversity, marine protected areas, community – based coastal management and conservation and alternative livelihoods. She is co-Director of Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) based in Mombasa, Kenya.  CORDIO East Africa is a research organisation focused on conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean. CORDIO specialises in generating knowledge to find solutions that benefit both ecosystems and people. Melita’s Doctorate is from James Cook University, where she is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Dept of Marine Biology. She is a member of several international advisory bodies including two IUCN Species Specialist Groups: Groupers and Wrasses; Snappers Seabream and Grunts; the Institute for Water Environment & Health, United Nations University and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Developing World Working Group.

Han webHanneke Van Lavieren, from the Netherlands, was born in Zambia and has spent most of her life in Africa and Asia. She completed her Masters degree in Marine Biology and Ecology in 1997 at the University of Groningen. She began her career as a Fisheries Biologist for the Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research where she studied catch composition and population dynamics of target and non-target fish species in the Dutch beam trawl fishery and alternative fishing methods to reduce by-catch. Longing to return to the tropics, she took up a position as Technical Advisor for a conservation project in the Philippines for the Netherlands Development Agency in 1999. Here she worked closely with local communities, conducted extensive coastal monitoring and training activities, and developed an integrated coastal management plan. In 2001, she moved to Kenya to join UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme, where she dealt with issues such as small islands, MPAs, coastal biodiversity, cetacean management, mangroves, climate change, and marine invasive species within 18 regional programmes. Since September 2006, she has been working for UNU-INWEH, and together with Dr. Peter Sale manages and coordinates coastal projects including work on mangrove ecosystems.


Dr. Virginia Wang’ondu is a  researcher  and a lecturer  in  Microbiology and Marine Botany  at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi for the last  nine years. She has vast experience in marine plant ecology specializing in mangrove phenology and productivity.  She has worked both in the South and North coast regions of the Kenyan coast in collaboration with scientists at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research  Institute (KMFRI, Mombasa) and Free university of Brussels (VUB). She is also involved in  research and supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate research projects  in Marine Ecology and Microbiology. She is currently  a 2013 AWARD Fellow, a two year career development programme.


Kairo Profile PictureJames G. Kairo initiated his university career at the University of Nairobi, where he obtained BSc and MSc in Biology. He then obtained a PhD at the University of Brussels focusing on the ecology and restoration of mangrove systems. Kairo joined the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute in 1993. He currently leads a team of scientists dedicated to mangrove forestry research. He has vast working experience on the conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable utilization of mangrove resources, which has earned him two major awards. In 2002 he won the International Cooperation Prize awarded by the Belgian Government in recognition of his work on cooperation and sustainable development. In 2005 the Alcoa Foundation awarded him the WWF-Practitioner Fellowship. He has also been awarded the Kenya’s Presidential Award of the ‘Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) for his works on mangrove restoration and management. He has consulted for regional and international organizations, including; EAWLS, WWF, UNEP, and FAO. Dr Kairo is currently serving the global community as the: Member of Scientific Working Group on Blue Carbon; Lead Author, IPCC (2013) supplement on coastal wetlands, as well as a Panel member of the IUCN/Shell Niger Delta remediation.

Mwita MangoraMwita M. Mangora is a Lecturer at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He teaches graduate courses on Applied Coastal and Marine Ecology, Conservation Science and Sustainable Utilization of Coastal and Marine Resources. Dr. Mangora is a forester and natural resources manager by profession. He specializes in Mangrove Ecology and Management; and Community Based Conservation. His current research focuses on mangroves stress ecophysiology, and impact of their transformations from both natural (especially climate change impacts) and anthropogenic pressures; assessment of mangrove ecosystems and their goods and services; and the impact on livelihoods of dependent communities; and restoration ecology and management. He also conducts studies on functional existence, management and socio-political-ecological impact of Marine Managed Areas including Marine Protected Areas. Dr. Mangora holds a B.Sc. in Forestry, M.Sc. in Management of Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture from Sokoine University of Agriculture and a Ph.D in Marine Sciences from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Jacob Ochiewo is the Socio-economics Research Program Coordinator at KMFRI.  He has 19 years experience in socioeconomic assessments and monitoring, governance analysis, resolution of resource use conflicts, valuation of coastal resources/natural resource policy analysis, and integrated problem analyses. He has also been involved in a number of regional projects such as the UNEP WIO-LaB Project, the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems (ASCLME), ReCoMaP, Peri-Urban Mangrove Forests as Sewage Filters and Phyto-remediators in Eastern Africa (PUMPSEA), Integrated Problem Analysis for the African Process, Developing portfolio of projects for the African Process, Global International Waters Assessment, Vision and strategy development for WWF East Africa Marine Eco-region, and a number of WIOMSA MASMA funded projects. Nationally, he has played key roles in the development of management plans for the prawn fishery, ringnet fishery and mangroves, preparation of the state of the coast report for Kenya, conducting training on stakeholder analysis, stakeholder engagement, economic valuation of natural resources and identification of socio-economic and governance monitoring indicators.