Strengthening Partnerships in African Conservation: Kenya's Wildlife Conservancies Movement

An article posted by African Biodiversity Collaborative Group:

Wildlife Conservation efforts in Kenya is at a critical stage. Four decades of extreme wildlife declines may progressively come to an end if the current wildlife conservation effort in community and private lands were to succeed in the longer term. Already we are seeing some good results:

  • More than 6 million hectares of land is secured outside of national parks and reserves by a network of 160 community and private conservancies.
  • Over 3,000 community rangers are working alongside Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers to protect wildlife habitats and minimize threats to wildlife species.
  • An estimated 700,000 households are participating in wildlife conservation and accessing a variety of social and economic benefits.
  • Populations of endangered species such as the Black rhino, Grevy’s zebra, lion and elephant are on an upward trend while other species are returning to their historical ranges.

Yet, despite all these achievements, a majority of the conservancies are at a nascent stage, lacking in governance and management effectiveness as well as the ability to deliver social, economic and ecological benefits in the long term. Threats to wildlife including incompatible land use, habitat degradation, unsustainable resource use and other illegal activities may diminish the current conservation efforts.

Fortunately, the sector in Kenya is engaged and committed to a vibrant and sustainable wildlife conservancies network, as it recognizes that it is critical to maintain the momentum. Effective collaboration and long-term partnerships have been identified as key factors for success.

To explore this, the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA) and Maliasili, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) with support from the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG), held a dialogue on Strengthening Partnerships within Kenya’s Wildlife Conservancies Movement, hosted by the African Wildlife Foundation in Nairobi on July 4, 2018. It explored partnerships between local actors and national as well as international partners.

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Nikita Lodhia