Community Wildlife Conservancies to Benefit From the Community Land Bill 2015 if Passed
Posted: 27th Jul 2016 08:00:00 AM
Weak land tenure rights represent a major bottleneck in developing conservancies on community land. Through the USAID supported Community Conservancy Policy Support and Implementation Program (CCSP), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA) advocated and for amendment and passing of the Community Land Bill. Upon enactment the law shall provide a framework for registration, institutional framework for administration and management of community lands. More than 60% of conservancies in Kenya occur on communally held lands with more under development.
KWCA advocacy was climaxed by a presentation of proposed amendments of the Community Land Bill 2015 to the mediation committee of Parliament on 13th July 2016. The focus of the KWCA advocacy included clarity on conduct of business of the community land management committees to ensure transparency and accountability, registration of community as legal entity and a higher threshold for conversion of community land to either private or public land. Further, KWCA advocacy targeted on strengthening accountability structures on management of community land and protecting community from losing out on benefits derived from use of land.
Community wildlife conservancies are set to reap big if the Community Land Bill 2015 is passed before the Constitutional deadline on 29th August 2016. Stronger land rights will ensure confidence in investors on community land, equitable sharing of benefits, reduced risk in interference and potential loss of community land. The community land Bill will therefore open the door for communities to participate and benefit from conservation of resources on their own land.
"Many investors have come to us with the intention to partner with our community to utilize natural resources on our land. Once they realize the weak legal tenure rights held by the community, they shy away from undertaking any investment", Peter Kendagor, chairperson Kabarion community conservancy, Baringo county.