Leonardo DiCaprio is up to a lot of good in Kenya

Mikoko Pamoja – ‘Mangroves Together’ in Swahili – seeks to protect threatened mangrove forests and fund community development along the Kenyan Coastline.

Through his foundation, the award-winning actor who is also an environmental activist is supporting conservation of threatened mangrove forests along the Kenyan Coastline.

The project, by Napier University in Edinburgh, will receive $50,000 in the latest a round of grants from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation which he announced at a conference at Yale University in Connecticut, United States, according to a Press Association dispatch carried by the Evening Express newspaper in Scotland.

Mikoko Pamoja – ‘Mangroves Together’ in Swahili – seeks to protect threatened mangrove forests and fund community development along the Kenyan Coastline by exploring the ecological value of mangroves in helping the ecosystem recover.

The project in Gazi Bay, 50km south of Mombasa, won the 2017 Equator Prize by the United Nations Development Programme.

The funds will be used to try and repeat the project’s success in the Vanga Blue Forest area of Kenya.

Mangroves forests protect coastal communities from storms and tsunamis and are efficient natural carbon sinks, locking and storing CO2 at up to five times the rate of tropical rainforests.

They also form an important habitat for fish and wildlife.

However, environmental experts say they are being destroyed at an alarming rate, threatening the livelihoods of local farmers and fishermen and triggering the release of greenhouse gases.

DiCaprio’s foundation was established in 1998 with help of environmental experts and philanthropists and has gradually built an international grant-making operation.

The Mikoko Pamoja project involved Edinburgh Napier staff and students working with the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.

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