Tree Talk| 4 min read

Tree Planting Site: Coastal Kenya

Why planting mangroves in Kenya is about so much more than the trees.

Planting Site Basics

Planting Site: Mtwapa Creek, Kilifi Creek, Mbguni
Country: Kenya
Site Status: Active
Forest Type: ​​Mangrove
Planting Partner: EarthLungs +  Kenya Forest Service (KFS)


Where Are We Planting?

In 2022 and 2023 we had previously set up mangrove planting projects at Mtwapa Creek and Kilifi Creek, about 2 hours north of Mombasa. More recently we added an additional planting site in Mbuguni, located just south of Mombasa.


Mangroves planting in Kenya


What Trees Are We Planting?

Mangrove trees are being planted at all three of these coastal planting sites in Kenya. Since founding tentree we have planted over 50 million mangroves across the globe, making up a significant portion of our overall planting efforts – and for good reason. Mangroves can have an incredible impact on communities, eco-systems, and our planet. 

mangroves ready to plant


Just one healthy hectare of mangroves can sequester more carbon than almost any other forest type. Mangroves are a critical ecosystem for fish spawning and support a healthy fishing environment, which many impoverished communities depend on as a food and income source.  Mangroves are generally considered to be a simple and straightforward tree to plant with high survival rates; and once mature, they are critical for protecting coastal communities, as they serve as natural storm barriers. 


Who’s Planting With Us?

EarthLungs is a new partner we have identified that works with both Mangrove and Terrestrial planting in Kenya and delivers an “employ-to-plant” model which provides tree planting jobs to communities in need.


planting partners Earth Lungs


EarthLungs works closely with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and local Community Forest Associations (CFAs) and have in turn connected us with these government agencies. While in Kenya, our team visited the KFS headquarters and met with Julius Kamau, the Chief Conservator of Forests. This partnership gives us a direct link to the highest levels of Kenyan Forestry while also providing us a much more intimate connection to the on-the-ground work. 

The Kenyan Government is incredibly committed to restoring its forest cover. Currently they are at only around ~12% forest cover and have set a goal of 30% by 2032. In order to do this, they have established a network across the country of partnerships and infrastructure to support partners just like us.


What’s The Impact?

People in subsistence communities like these are often faced with the choice of feeding their family by cutting down the trees to sell for charcoal or going hungry. By providing jobs and giving the communities an incentive to restore and protect the forest rather than cutting it down, they can earn a living while also restoring the land. 

mangroves cut down for charcoal


One of the women employed through this project, Rita, told us she’s been able to save money for furthering her education while also supporting her family. She’s now a local advocate, helping to educate others in her community about the value of protecting the mangroves, encouraging them to gather dead or broken branches instead of cutting down the trees. 




  • Mangrove forests store more carbon than any other ecosystem (up to four times more than tropical rainforests), mitigating climate change. 
  • Mangrove forests protect biodiversity by restoring critical coastal habitats:
    • their root systems are a breeding ground and habitat for shrimp, crab and shellfish
    • they provide nesting for monkeys, fishing cats, lizards, sea turtles and crocodiles
  • Healthy mangroves create a natural buffer between land and sea, stabilizing the shoreline,  protecting against erosion, and wave action.


  • Employment created for hundreds of people, improving livelihoods and breaking cycles of poverty. 
  • Empower the local community in the restoration and protection of their land and people, educating them about the impact the mangrove deforestation has on the land, fishing industry and more.

Keep Reading

Mangroves: Nature’s Coastal Guardians


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