Small developing islands are particularly vulnerable to environmental changes due to their small size, low-lying topography, scarce natural resources, isolation and remoteness from major markets, dependence on external imports, competition for space, and associated socio-economic pressures. Sea level rise also makes coastal communities more vulnerable to the impacts of swell waves, storm surges and sea water inundation.

Mangrove forests have gained recognition for their potential role in climate change mitigation due to the carbon sequestration of the productive ecosystems and storage in the sediments that are trapped by the mangrove tree roots and pneumatophores. Africa hosts about 19% of the world’s mangroves, yet there are relatively few studies that have examined the carbon stocks of African mangroves, and the studies available report great differences among sites and amongst the different pools of carbon stocks, particularly between the above ground carbon stored in trees and organic carbon stored within the sediment. These sediment stores are increasingly a sink and and a source for microplastics

Key aims and objectives

Describe and quantify change in coastal communities on small islands in Tanzania. Assess how developed practices of resource management can be used to enhance resilience to environmental and climate change We investigate if AGC and SOC carbon stocks differ with increasing seaward distance for estuarine mangroves in Tanzania and Thailand and, how our results compare to those reported elsewhere across Africa and Asia respectively. Quantify the microplastics in coastal and lagoonal sediments

Related links

To find out more visit the website

Professor Rob Marchant, Department of Environment and Geography

Rebecca Newman, PhD student, Department of Environment and Geography

Dr Edem Mahu

Professor Rob Marchant, Department of Environment and Geography, University of York

Rebecca Newman, PhD student, Department of Environment and Geography, University of York

Hamidu Seki, PhD student, Department of Environment and Geography, University of York

Dr Paramita Punwong, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Dr Edem Mahu, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana


Norwegian Government

Royal Society

A number of NGOs in Zanzibar


Sokoine University


Newman R, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Thorn J, Kariuki R, Capitani C Enns C, Marchant R, (2020) Integrating insights about social-ecological interactions into sustainable land use change scenarios for small islands: an example from western Indian Ocean. Sustainability 12 (4).

Cleyndert de Jong G, Cuní-Sanchez A, Seki H A, Shirma D D, Munishi PKT, Burgess N, Calders K, Marchant R, (2021) The effects of seaward distance on above and below ground carbon stocks in estuarine mangrove ecosystems. Carbon Balance and Management 15, 27.

Chico-Ortiz N, Mahu E, Crane R, Gordon C, Marchant R, (2020) Microplastics in Ghanaian coastal lagoon sediments: Their occurrence and spatial distribution. Regional Studies in Marine Science V40 101509.

Related links

To find out more visit the website