LGT Venture Philanthropy partners with KWCA to help scale the conservancy model across Kenya and beyond
Nairobi, Kenya, July …, 2021 – LGT Venture Philanthropy Foundation (LGT VP) announces its new engagement with Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA). LGT VP’s core funding and strategic support enable KWCA to expand and improve its operations, financial strategy and monitoring & evaluation.
KWCA serves as the national membership organisation and representative body for Kenya’s conservancies, acting as their unified voice and connecting them with the key players in the country’s conservancy movement. KWCA’s vision is to conserve ecosystems through thriving conservancies that benefit local communities, wildlife and healthy ecosystems alike, while simultaneously combatting and mitigating Climate Change. KWCA works towards this goal by representing conservancies at the policy level and by equipping regional associations and conservancies with tools, technical support and capacity building. This support leads to favourable laws for conservancies, empowered and well-managed conservancies, and a surge in livelihoods from conservation.
Since 1977, Kenya has experienced a 68% decline in its wildlife, and since 1963, Kenya’s forest cover has shrunk from 10% to 6%. The conservancy model poses a sustainable solution for long-term conservation because it integrates local communities’ livelihoods and has potential for growth. Despite their overall success, conservancies have to contend with insufficient policies and incentives, inadequate recognition and understanding of their impact, weak institutional and planning capacity, and poor governance. KWCA seeks to close those information, communication and legislation gaps.
Since its founding in 2013, KWCA has promoted favourable legislation, grown from two to 152 members and helped conservancies survive the Covid-19 pandemic. In just five years, land under community and private conservancies has grown rapidly. As part of its Vision 2030 program, the Kenyan government supports the organisation’s goal of expanding the acreage under conservancies to secure wildlife migration routes and dispersal areas, which is in line with the global target of conserving 30% of land by 2030.
LGT VP’s environmental strategy focuses on an integrative approach of protecting and regenerating ecosystems, benefitting the environment and local communities alike. In line with this strategy, by advocating for the conservancy model across Kenya, KWCA tackles three interlinked challenges: biodiversity loss, lack of livelihoods and Climate Change. LGT VP has been active in “protecting the overall Maasai Mara ecosystem” since 2016 to strengthen the community conservancy model and develop carbon assets. KWCA is the last puzzle piece to complete LGT VP’s overall portfolio in Kenya, as it adds the national perspective and interface with government to promote the conservancy model across the country. KWCA connects on-the-ground organisations, such as MMWCA, Basecamp Explorer and the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, with national government and regional associations, thus enforcing and scaling successful models across Kenya.
Oliver Karius, CEO of LGT VP, affirms: “We are delighted to support the important work of KWCA as they seek to expand and strengthen the community conservancy model across Kenya and beyond. Kenya is at the forefront of using the community conservancy model as an integrated model to protect biodiversity and wildlife and ensure livelihoods. Empowering the local community is a vital component to the long-term success of conservation efforts. KWCA plays a central role in strengthening local communities, which is a core focus of LGT VP’s environment strategy.”
Dickson Kaelo, CEO of KWCA, agrees: “KWCA welcomes the partnership with and support from LGT VP. The support is timely and strategic coming at a time when KWCA, in implementing its strategic plan 2019-2023, desires to further expand its institutional capacity to respond to the growing challenges and opportunities within the community conservation network in Kenya.”
The Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA) is a non-profit membership society and the national representative body and voice for conservancies in Kenya. KWCA seeks to catalyze the conservancy movement by connecting, informing, convening, and representing Kenyan conservancies and other key stakeholders in a shared effort to make wildlife conservancies thrive, benefitting local communities, ecosystems and the climate alike. For more information, please visit www.kwcakenya.com.
LGT Venture Philanthropy is an independent charitable foundation established in 2007 with teams in Switzerland, Sub-Saharan Africa and India. The foundation strives to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged people, contribute to healthy ecosystems and build resilient, inclusive and prosperous communities. For more information, please visit www.lgtvp.com.