Helping to make community conservation economically viable


Elephants with Lake Amboseli in the backgroundThe Amboseli ecosystem, one of Africa's outstanding wildlife habitats, is coming under increasing pressure from land sub-division, conversion of land to permanent agriculture, and uncontrolled and unplanned tourism development. As a result, critical wildlife dispersal areas are being reduced and important elephant migratory corridors cut off, in particular between Amboseli National Park and the Mount Kilimanjaro forests across the border in Tanzania. However, despite the rapid development underway in the ecosystem, most community members remain poor and are yet to benefit from the significant populations of wildlife on their land. As a result, conservation-compatible land uses such as wildlife-based tourism are perceived as uneconomic and undesirable.

Our contribution

Community game scout and guide with a touristThrough this project, CDC is helping to establish a new community conservation area encompassing the Olgulului-Lolarrashi Group Ranch, which surrounds Amboseli Nationmal Park and forms a crucial part of the ecosystem. Working together with the group ranch members and other stakeholders, we are providing technical support and facilitation to develop a new management and development plan for the conservation area. Our role includes facilitating participatory stakeholder workshops, coordinating the development of a business plan that will set out the options for developing tourism enterprises and other appropriate land-uses, establishing incentive mechanisms that support conservation-compatible land use, and laying a foundation for the new institutional and management systems needed to support the conservation area and ensure that all members are benefitting from it. Ultimately, the goal is to optimise economic returns to the community from conservation-compatible land uses so that they are competitive with conservation-incompatible land uses.

The Olgulului-Lolarrashi initiative is a pilot for a broader process to develop a national Community Conservation Planning Framework (CCPF), which it is hoped will in future assist other communities in Kenya and elsewhere to establish economically viable community conservation areas.


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