Utilizing Marine Cultural Heritage for the Preservation of Coastal Systems in East Africa

Georgia Holly, Arturo Rey da Silva, Jon Henderson, Caesar Bita, Wes Forsythe, Zacarias Alexandre Ombe, Christopher Poonian, Hayley Roberts

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This paper presents the key contributions of marine cultural heritage to the survival ofcoastal ecosystems and the communities that rely on them in East Africa. Marine cultural heritage(MCH) describes the evidence of past human interactions with coastal and marine space, encom-passing tangible material culture remains and associated intangible cultural expressions withincoastal communities. By incorporating the protection of MCH into local and regional environmentalframeworks, we gain an essential indicator to monitor change dynamics in natural habitats, the cumulative impacts of climate change, and the development of social adaptation strategies. An es-sential aspect of this development is the move away from global sustainability strategies towards community-centric management and stewardship. Such processes utilise a combination of traditionalknowledge systems and scientific approaches designed to harness targeted economic, ecological,and social sustainable development. To argue for the incorporation of MCH into local and regional environmental frameworks in the area, this paper presents four case studies from the Rising from the Depths Network, a challenge-led research network focusing on harnessing the potential of MCH tobring sustainable development strategies to East Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022


  • marine cultural heritage; Africa; sustainable development; climate change; resilience;traditional knowledge; coastal systems; biocultural heritage
  • sustainable development
  • marine cultural heritage
  • biocultural heritage
  • traditional knowledge
  • Africa
  • coastal systems
  • resilience
  • climate change


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