We believe that successful and sustainable action depends on communities getting involved in and benefiting from habitat and wildlife conservation.
Our Vision and Strategies in Kenya
The Nature Conservancy strives to build resilient human and natural communities in Kenya that are better equipped to adapt to an uncertain future that will include drought, economic shocks and political change.
We help strengthen governance, diversify economies, improve natural resource management, and build peace and security.
Here’s how the Conservancy takes on some of Kenya’s most complex environmental challenges:
Expanding Community-Led Conservation
The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) provides support for 19 community conservancies representing 212,000 people across nearly 5 million acres in northern Kenya’s rangelands. NRT conservancies provide a foundation of solid governance so that communities are equipped to address the many challenges they face.
We support NRT’s efforts with funding, conservation planning, rangeland monitoring, and geospatial and climate-change technical support. We are also helping with NRT’s expansion into new geographies, including Marsabit, the Tana River Delta and northern coastal Kenya.
Connecting Community, Public and Private Protected Areas
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy serves as a base for conservation support and a corridor for wildlife ranging between Mount Kenya; community conservancies; and the Samburu, Shaba, and Buffalo Springs national reserves.
The Nature Conservancy and Lewa engineered an innovative solution that allows Lewa’s lands to be held in trust for the benefit of wildlife and future generations. We also facilitate collaborative planning processes so that Lewa and its key partners can map a course for continued conservation success.
Reducing Wildlife Poaching
By bridging the divide between organizations working to reduce poaching and those working to suppress the illegal trade in rhino horn and elephant ivory, the Conservancy can help to mitigate the threats of poaching and civil insecurity.
For example, our partnership with Save the Elephants — an organization that collars and tracks elephant movement — involves analyzing valuable data to improve wildlife security and gauge the impact of community conservation efforts in Kenya.
Protecting Freshwater Resources
The Tana River is an indispensable source of water for crops, livestock and wildlife. It also supplies most of the water and hydropower resources for Nairobi’s residents.
The Conservancy is adapting its successful Water Fund model to create benefits for upstream and downstream users in the Tana basin. Large water users — Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company, KenGen and others — invest in a fund that supports upstream conservation projects led by partners such as the Green Belt Movement.
Conserving Marine Resources
In collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service, NRT, WWF, and Fauna and Flora International, we are planning conservation programs with stakeholders on Pate Island. We hope to establish a program that reduces the expense of delivering high-quality fish to the Nairobi market, increases profits for fishermen and enhances fishery health.
Our technical expertise in reef resiliency, marine spatial planning and mangrove conservation complements the efforts of North Coast Conservation, Ltd., NRT’s sister organization working in northern coastal Kenya.
Promoting an Integrated Wildlife- and Cattle-Based Economy
NRT’s Livestock to Markets (or "BeefWORKS") program purchases cattle from pastoralists for a fair price, transports them to quarantine areas and fattens them for sale in the Nairobi market.
In exchange for increased market access, participating communities agree to employ grazing practices that improve rangeland quality and generate benefits for cattle, pastoralists and wildlife.
The Conservancy is helping NRT expand this successful program (and others like it) to diversify income streams and enhance grassland health in the northern rangelands.
Enhancing Enabling Policy
The Nature Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service and WWF are working together to develop a single voice for Kenyan community conservation efforts, the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA).
KWCA brings together private and community interests to create a national constituency of community conservation organizations. It will help to inform national policy and increase coordination among individual conservation organizations working in Kenya.
Sharing Skills and Knowledge
The Conservancy brings a unique array of assets to the table, from policy and scientific expertise to technical assistance and financial resources:
- Conservation planning and measuring conservation impact
- Freshwater, marine and terrestrial conservation science
- Climate change science
- Fire management
- Public policy expertise and public funding resources
- Real estate and conservation financing expertise
- Fundraising and marketing expertise
We seek to maximize our conservation impact in Africa by joining these resources with the established presence and homegrown knowledge of our varied partners.
Our history of success and our diverse partnerships give us great hope for the future. Together, we can overcome the challenges ahead to help improve the quality of life for Africa’s people and conserve some of the most extraordinary lands and waters on Earth.