Conservancies Feted for Promoting Sustainable Tourism
Posted: 17th Oct 2016 01:00:00 AM
The 11th edition of the Eco-Warrior Awards was held on Friday evening, 14th October at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Upperhill, under the theme "Sustainable Tourism- Our diversity our Strength."
KWCA conservancy members Ol Lentille Conservancy from Laikipia emerged the winner of the Eco-Tourism Community Conservancy of the year award followed by Ol Kinyei the 1st runners up. Ol Pejeta Conservancy also from Laikipia emerged the winners of the Eco-tourism private conservancy of the year followed by Oljogi conservancy were the 1st runners up. The winners were selected for their work with communities to minimize negative social impacts of tourism and in optimizing opportunities provided by tourism to the communities.
Conservancies play a critical role in promoting sustainable eco-tourism development because they establish a local support base for communities to participate in decision making processes of eco-touristic ventures that communities are able to benefit from. Through these partnerships, conservancies have enabled local communities to derive benefits from wildlife through job creation and payment of eco-system services in the form of lease fees paid to land owners and in part local communities have continued to conserve the country's wildlife. The communities become co-partners and co-beneficiaries in development which is vital for future sustainability.
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for development with the aim of creating awareness and fostering better understanding among people on their rich heritage and to appreciate inherent values of different cultures and thereby strengthening peace in the world.
KWCA, through the 'Community Conservancy Policy Support and Implementation Program' (CCSP), supported by USAID Kenya and jointly implemented with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), supported the community conservancies category with the aim of encouraging communities to adopt best practices in management, governance, sustainability and community engagement among community conservancies.