AET Conservancies Program

As a unified entity privileged with offering direction in coordination of stakeholders in the management of wildlife resources in the greater Amboseli landscape, Amboseli ecosystem trust has embarked on the right directional bearing of defining strategies needed to fulfill the enormous expectation of its stakeholder network.  In order to execute its mandate effectively, AET embraced a series of programs namely; AEMP, security, conservancies, livelihood improvement, land use planning etc.

Amboseli conservancies

The establishment and development of wildlife conservancies in Amboseli ecosystem was elicited by the 1990s conservancies revolution that sparked conservation interest from different communities across the county. As a deviation from the protectionist model of conserving biological resource in state protected areas (parks and reserves) proponents of adaptive management wished to expand space for wildlife through enlisting individual and communal landowners in managing and similarly deriving economic benefits from wildlife. To achieve meaningful results from the above assertion, landowners began the process of establishing conservancies by delineating substantial tracts of land that suits the ecological needs of wildlife species.

A pioneer of conservancies movement in Amboseli region is Kitirua conservancy (formed 1984) created from the expansive Orgulului-lolarrashi community land as a concession area for wildlife that disperse from Amboseli national park. The second establishment is kimana community wildlife sanctuary (1996).  As a relic enclave of the former Kimana-Tikondo group ranch, this community wildlife entity to date remains a reference model on how rural landowners can actively managed wildlife that roams freely on their land offering a competitive edge to livestock development. At the moment, every community land (formerly group ranch) in the ecosystem has set aside land as a wildlife conservancy.

Collectively, Amboseli ecosystem prides in having 17 conservancies (community, group and private) covering an area of 88,862 acres of land, supporting 65,881 households and having a wildlife security network of 433 devoted community rangers. AET is under legal obligation as a grass-root institution to shoulder the responsibility of spearheading the management and running of these wildlife dispersal areas including prospecting for donor support.  It is ecologically paramount that as we wish to see a positive trend in wildlife numbers, securing ecological space is inevitable.  As stewards of conservation of biological resources, we are forever indebted in enlisting local communities to shake off negative perception that wildlife is a state protected resource. This can be achieved through formation of ecologically viable conservancies that not only agitate for wildlife posterity but those that also reflect a human development face.

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