COMMUNITY WILDLIFE CONSERVANCIES STEWARDSHIP PROGRAMME

Tsavo East and Tsavo West are among the most visited and financially important National Parks in Kenya. Though less visited, the Chyulu Hills National Park is of critical environmental value.

Despite their economic and ecological significance, there is currently a disparity in the dispersal of benefits flowing from these National Parks. The communities living adjacent to the parks often pay a high price for wildlife conservation but reap few of the rewards, which currently accrue predominantly to the Kenya Wildlife Service (the national wildlife authority) and to tourism businesses based in distant urban centres and overseas.

… adjacent communities have historically borne many of the costs associated with the area’s conservation, through reduced access to previously utilised natural resources, loss of crops, livestock and even human life as a result of wildlife dispersing from the area.
— Kenya Wildlife Service - Tsavo Conservation Area Management Plan 2008-2018

No one will support or engage in wildlife conservation if they cannot afford to. However, with effective management, wildlife can hold the key to improving economic prosperity and resilience.

At TSAVO TRUST, we are working to create incentives around conservation through the formation and stewardship of Community Wildlife Conservancies – incentives which are not purely financial, but also improve and diversify people’s livelihoods, provide a hedge against climatic shocks and enable better access to water, healthcare and education - using wildlife conservation as the catalyst for human development and environmental protection.

Programme Leader: Ian Saunders

The reality is that the wildlife industry outside the gazetted protected areas needs to be re-organised by putting structures in place for active community participation in sustainable wildlife conservation as a land use option to compete with other practiced land uses including agriculture.
— Kenya Wildlife Service - Community Enterprise Strategy 2012-2017
Ian Saunders from TSAVO TRUST with community elders, before the formal meetings when long trousers were donned (by Ian anyway!)

Ian Saunders from TSAVO TRUST with community elders, before the formal meetings when long trousers were donned (by Ian anyway!)

TSAVO TRUST works from the inside out, rather than the outside in. We engage with our neighbouring communities to enable us to respond to their specific challenges, as opposed to imposing external "remedies" on them, which often they don't need.

TSAVO TRUST works from the inside out, rather than the outside in. We engage with our neighbouring communities to enable us to respond to their specific challenges, as opposed to imposing external "remedies" on them, which often they don't need.

The greater Tsavo ecosystem extends way beyond the borders of the officially protected National Parks and comprises surrounding dispersal areas for wildlife, including large herds of elephant. Community Wildlife Conservancies allow resident communities to benefit from the presence of these animals, rather than paying the often heavy price for hosting them without any recompense.

The greater Tsavo ecosystem extends way beyond the borders of the officially protected National Parks and comprises surrounding dispersal areas for wildlife, including large herds of elephant. Community Wildlife Conservancies allow resident communities to benefit from the presence of these animals, rather than paying the often heavy price for hosting them without any recompense.