Raymond Glover’s Diary
Tidal Forests of Kenya
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July 28, 2009: First work in the lab
Due to the tides in Kinondo we switched the day's program around a bit.
Before heading to the site we went to the lab for a talk by Joseph
Langat, who is studying for his PhD on this project, about mangrove
forests and climate change. He described how greenhouse gases have
increased over time, coinciding with the industrial revolution in the
1850's in the upper latitudes (Europe and America) and also describing
the natural interaction of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere, land
and sea. From studying data it has been seen that there is some
"missing" CO2. Earthwatch has started a project running from now until
2013 to investigate if mangroves acting as carbon sinks are absorbing
this missing CO2. The work we will be conducting later in the week will
be the start of this project. Following this talk we headed off to the
field to continue the biomass and fauna work from yesterday. Following
a late lunch some of us volunteered for lab work. One team were
entering the data recorded this morning, and myself and Timothy were
preparing some soil samples (taken earlier). Basically we had to make
and weigh some foil trays, into which we placed an approximate quantity
of the soil samples and recorded the total weights. They then have to
spend 24 hours in an oven to dry out before recording the dry weights
and moving to the next step.
Before dinner this evening we were given a talk by Amina Juma from the
Gazi Women's group about their work and the Gazi mangrove project. She
described the threats to the mangrove forests (pollution, cutting for
timber, sea level rise etc) and then outlined the objectives for the
women's group which are to reduce the pressure on the mangroves by
setting up alternative projects, such as planting alternative species
for sources of timber. The group also have plans to introduce
beekeeping, small scale fish farming for the community and also promote
ecotourism through promoting the boardwalk project in schools, hotels
and media. These projects will help support the women's group, the
fishermen and the youth groups. Income is also used to sponsor the high
achieving school children to further their education.
After dinner of Pilau (rice with goat meat), pepper sauce and salad we
drove to a local bar in the next village (owned by Michael's father).
While there, as part of the program each volunteer is encouraged to give
a talk to the group. Tonight we were given a talk by Bronwyn on her PHD
studies at the Australian Antarctic base studying the impact of refuse
from the station on the Antarctic environment.
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