Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

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James Kairo

Senior Research Officer, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI)


James Gitundu Kairo obtained both BSc in Biology and MSc in Plant Ecology from the University of Nairobi and his PhD on ecology and restoration of mangrove ecosystems from the University of Brussels.

He has vast working experience on the conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable utilization of mangroves systems. 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 WWW- Practioner Fellow. In 2010, the Kenyan head of State President Mwai Kibaki conferred him with the Kenya National Award of Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) for his work on mangrove planting and “returning lost forests back to life.”

Over the last 10 years, Dr. Kairo has contributed immensely to new knowledge on the ecology and restoration of mangrove systems in the WIO region by producing more than 20 peer reviewed publications. It is through his work that he has been invited to transfer mangrove reforestation and management technologies to several other countries in the region including Mozambique, Egypt and Tanzania.

Further, through his efforts, more than 200 ha of mangrove have been reforested with suitable species in Kenya. Over the years, he has supervised several MSc and PhD students. Dr. Kairo is a Senior Research Officer at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute. He is a member of the International Blue Carbon Scientific Working Group.

He is also involved in the East Africa Forum for Payment of Ecosystem Services |g2n|(EAFPES) and Mikoko Pamoja Projects.