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Wageningen University (2021)

Governing landscapes through partnerships : lessons from Amboseli, Kenya

Mugo, Tabitha Njeri

Titre : Governing landscapes through partnerships : lessons from Amboseli, Kenya

Auteur : Mugo, Tabitha Njeri

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Doctor 2021

Résumé partiel
This study focuses on the Kenyan Amboseli landscape, which comprises the Amboseli National Park and six neighbouring Maasai community Group Ranches, namely Mbirikani, Kuku, Kimana, Eselengei, Ologulului-Ololorashi Ologulului, and Rombo. Over the past five decades, Amboseli has been facing persistent conservation and development challenges. These include changing land tenure and land-use ; human-wildlife conflicts (HWCs) ; poaching of wildlife ; unplanned and uncoordinated development ; loss and fragmentation of wildlife habitats ; inadequate and unequal benefits for local communities ; high levels of poverty ; and a conservation-development nexus policy void. To mitigate these challenges, various policy interventions, mostly in the form of varied partnership arrangements between actors drawn from communities, governments, market, and conservation organizations, have been initiated – with mixed outcomes.

This thesis specifically explores two landscape-wide partnerships, the Amboseli Ecosystem Trust (AET) and the Big Life Foundation (BLF). The Amboseli Ecosystem Trust is a landscape-based partnership that seeks to bring together governmental agencies, communities, private investors, and civil society with the aim of simultaneously achieving conservation and development goals. The Big Life Foundation (BLF), a partner and member of the AET’s Board of Trustees and the successor of the Maasailand Preservation Trust (MPT), is a partnership between the Mbirikani Group Ranch community members and a tourism investor-based conservation NGO. BLF’s projects cover a large part of the Amboseli landscape in Kenya and adjacent areas in northern Tanzania.

The overall aim of this study was to understand the contribution of the two partnerships to landscape governance at Amboseli. To achieve this aim, this study sought to answer the following research questions : (i) How are the landscape governance roles fulfilled by the analysed partnerships in the Amboseli landscape ? (ii) In what ways and to what extent have the partnerships (through the landscape governance roles) addressed conservation-development challenges facing the Amboseli landscape ?


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