87 wildlife conservancies in Kenya occur on community land. This accounts for 65% of conservancies in the country and cover an area of 15 million acres. With two thirds of land in the country occurring on communally held land and with majority of wildlife being on these landscapes, the opportunity for growth of conservancies is immense.
A conservancy manager doesn’t necessarily need to be a conservation expert, he or she needs to have passion, be a good listener, a lover of wildlife, and be a good community mobiliser.
THE COMMUNITY 528 Community Land LAND ACT, 2016 AN ACT of Parliament to give effect to Article 63 (5) of the Constitution; to provide for the recognition, protection and registration of community land rights; management and administration of community land; to provide for the role of county governments in relation to unregistered community land and for connected purposes.
KWCA is a national landowner-led membership organization representing community and private conservancies in Kenya, We work with conservancy landowners and Regional Wildlife Associations to create an enabling environment for conservancies to deliver environmental and livelihood benefits.
Dickson ole Kaelo has been at the forefront of community-based conservation for the last 18 years. In this interview with Joyce Mbataru he reflects on his journey working for conservancies in the Masai Mara ecosystem and his new role and vision at the helm of the national conservancy body.
When the first conservancies emerged in the 1990s it was not the result of a specific top-down policy, but rather a response to the growing calls to recognize landowners and communities as the custodians of their wildlife. At that time there was no legal framework defining or regulating conservancies, and an interesting mosaic of government, NGOs, and private sector supported the creation and management of conservancies.
The report comprehensively covers the plenary sessions with speeches by the guest and key note speakers; the working group sessions; question and answer sessions and brief introductory remarks by some KWCA Board members. Additionally, it presents annexes that include the workshop programmes for the two days of the conference and a list of participants who attended the workshop.
But conservancies have been more than just space for wildlife. They contribute to Kenya’s Vision 2030 objective of diversifying tourism and tripling the number of visitors. Some 142 iconic high end camps have added 2,397 beds to Kenya's tourism portfolio, and the majority of these camps are winning international awards and leading on Trip Advisor ratings.
The economic development of any country centre’s around its environment, natural resources and the choice of appropriate conservation and management strategies. Forest development in Kenya is dependent on the rich natural resource base especially with regard to tourism development, energy production, food security, timber production, and provision of a host of non-timber forest products that directly or indirectly contribute to the livelihoods of citizens. In addition, forests support the provision of environmental services including resilience to the impacts of climate change. However, the natural resource base is facing pressure from increased population growth and unsustainable use of forest resources.
The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (2013) complements and amplifies other natural resource management legislations that include The Water Act (Cap 372), The Forest Act (Cap 385), The Environmental Management and Conservation Act EMCA (387), The Wetland Regulations of 2009, The Mining Act (Cap 306), The Tourism Act (Cap 383), The Firearms Act (Cap 114) and The Fisheries Act (cap 378). All these laws seek to ensure sustainable development in Kenya as provided for in the Constitution.