Mara Conservancies Project Update - June 2017
In late 2016, Kenya Wildlife Trust secured a significant three-year grant to support the development of the Mara Conservancies through our partner Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA).
As MMWCA often states, land is an emotive issue in Kenya and so land transactions tend to be complex.
Supporting conservancies to register land leases is a key component of MMWCA's work, with the goal of protecting land for wildlife while also promoting joint partnerships with the communities that own the land. The Mara Conservancies currently protect over 330,000 acres belonging to more than 11,000 landowners in the Maasai Mara ecosystem.
Many local Maasai land owners need reassurance about their land, heritage and culture being honoured, to participate and support wildlife conservation. The conservancy model by MMWCA combines conservation of nature and cultural heritage, eco-tourism, and the enhancement of livelihoods for the local communities.
This new three-year grant program will focus on five pillars, each of which addresses a different challenge facing the Greater Mara:
- Enhancing Conservancy Management
- Diversifying Sustainable Revenue Generation
- Sustainable Livestock Initiative
- Correcting Misaligned Perceptions
- Pardamat Conservation Area
This three-year project is both ambitious and vital to the sustainability of the Greater Mara. Climate change, overgrazing, land use change and mixed understanding of the conservancy model have all put unprecedented pressure on the ecosystem as a whole.
This plan proposes an ambitious redirection of livestock management, Maasai value structures, tourism and profit sharing, and it reimagines sustainable commerce in the Mara.
We believe that its success relies on the collaboration of stakeholders, including the landowning community itself, and we look forward to sharing progress updates during the lifespan of this grant.