We Partner With the GOK and the County Governments
KWCA overall goal is to contribute to Kenya’s vision for a tourism industry that offers high end tourist, a diverse and distinctive visitor experience making Kenya among the world top destinations.
Inspired by KWS vision for a country where the great species and places are saved for humanity, we collaborate with national and county agencies to enhance adoption by communities and landowners of conservation approaches that enhance protection of wildlife outside of national parks and reserves. Through 12 regional association working within Kenyan’s 8 conservation areas, we work with private and community conservancies to conserve our wildlife heritage for the benefit of the next generations.
Kenya’s wildlife and wild places are facing increasing threats from a burgeoning human population growth and conversion of land to settlements, infrastructure and industrial installations. Since wildlife does not pay and landowners lack incentives to conserve, wildlife habitats, even on marginal landscapes, are converted to real estate, irrigated farms, horticultural farms and extensive cereal production areas. A major impact to this growth is an increase in conflicts between people and wildlife, with huge implications to the Kenyan economy.
Partner With Landowners and Communities and Build Their Capacity
Landowners and communities hosting wildlife on their land derive little or no benefits from wildlife tourism. The burgeoning cost of hosting the wildlife is a burden and wildlife often seen as a nuisance to be fenced off, killed or merely tolerated. Threat to life, property loss and the high cost of living with wildlife weighs heavily on people living adjacent protected areas. Those that voluntarily adopt wildlife conservation receive little government support and solely absorb conservation costs. Although tourism generates huge income, low indicators of human well-being characterize communities residing in wildlife areas.
We partner with conservancy leaders, members, managers and supporters to create incentives, benefit sharing mechanisms, entrepreneurial projects and value addition mechanisms that expand benefits to landowners and communities.
Land owners and communities often lack the requisite management and organization expertise to deliver conservation and livelihoods outcomes; we work to build the capacity of the community and conservancy leaders and managers through tailor made training courses, exposure and linkages with research and conservation organizations.
Empowered conservancy stakeholders become effective wildlife managers and active participants in policy processes that enhance protection of wildlife and its habitats. Benefits accrued to landowners from managing wildlife will lead to more space for wildlife and healthy wildlife populations.
Recognizing that an enabling policy and legal environment is a prerequisite to effective landowners and communities engagement in wildlife conservation, KWCA works with the relevant government of Kenya agencies and the County governments in developing and implementing policies and laws that encourage sustainable management of wildlife and landscapes. KWCA partners with government institutions such as KWS, KFS, NEMA and the Ministries of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and East Africa coordination, Tourism and Commerce and leading conservation non-governmental organizations such as TNC, AWF, ACC, EAWLS, WD, WWF, and many others to.
We work to create an enabling policy environment for citizen participation in wildlife conservation. Our policy program focusses on issues related to wildlife conservation and management, sustainable land utilization, citizen involvement in conservation and incentives and benefit sharing arrangements that encourage coexistence of people and wildlife outside formally protected areas. We work with National Parliament, the Senate, County Assemblies and relevant ministries to influence adoption of enabling policies and laws that benefit people, wildlife and natural areas.
Our Policy Advocacy Strategy
Our strategy involves preparing position statements, facts and recommendations to support policy review processes. Our priorities include educating our members on policy issues, changes in relevant laws and implications of policies all geared towards abiding by the rule of law.
- Policy awareness; Ensuring that all our members and affiliate members are aware and abide on the policy and law relating to wildlife conservation and monitoring the impact of policy on their work
- Policy analysis; Work with relevant partners to carry out when necessary a review of policies and laws that impact conservation of wildlife and relationship between wildlife and human activities
- Policy statements and reviews; Identify policy priority areas for interventions and preparation of policy position papers, factsheets and when appropriate sharing with policy makers, media and the Kenyan Public.
Winning Space for Wildlife, one acre at a time
Although trophy hunting, game meat poaching, human wildlife conflict and climate change impact on our dwindling wildlife resources, it is land loss, habitat modification and fragmentation that ultimately threaten our wildlife populations. We work with our communities and private landowners to protect our natural landscapes. We recognize that coexistence between people and wildlife is not just possible, it’s natural and beneficial. Nowhere has this been demonstrated than in East Africa’s savannas.
With the right incentives, benefits and support, landowners and communities voluntarily set aside their land, often foregoing other more financially rewarding opportunities, to conserve wildlife. Notably, Kenya has experienced a great surge in land protected by communities for wildlife conservation purposes, if the current growth of conservancies is maintained; Kenya may be on its way to attaining its targets and meeting international recommendations as described in Aichi targets.
We work with Kenya’s landowners to win space for wildlife, one acre at a time. Through the conservancy approach, both private and community, establishment of nature parks, game farms, game ranches and sanctuaries, we work to expand our conserved landscape protecting migratory routes, dispersal areas, and critical wildlife habitats on privately or communally owned lands. Year after year since the 1990s, the increasing area covered by conservancies is expanding land under sustainable resource management, increasing the network of landscape connectivity and buffering protected areas
We bring conservancies together to enhance sharing of best practices, harmonize standards, build wildlife and people security, and have a single voice. Many conservancies and parks and reserves however remain isolated and at risk being surrounded by competing land uses, we work against this gradient to protect our landscape for future generations.
We work with conservancy managers and field scientist and research institutions to ensure continuous monitoring of the overall status of wildlife populations and their habitats, levels of illegal activities injurious to wildlife and the gains made through conservation actions by conservancies.
Conservancies are tourist destinations whose management must be run on business principles. KWCA works to create attainable business standards, code of conduct and practices that enhance delivery of services to stakeholders and visitors. Through a step wise rating scheme that encourages conservancies to aim at better performance and adherence to higher levels of operation, the rating scheme promotes high level of community involvement and demonstration of sustainable destination management.
Sustainable Funding Through Investments
We work with national and international funding agencies and private investors to establish sustainable funding mechanisms that support the growth of the Conservancies’ movement and for the continued implementation of programs that enhance wildlife conservation and development of communities