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Universität zu Köln (2018)

Wildlife conservation on communal pastoral land. A case study of Il Ngwesi Conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya

Kuta, Wilfrida Omusheni

Titre : Wildlife conservation on communal pastoral land. A case study of Il Ngwesi Conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya

Auteur : Kuta, Wilfrida Omusheni

Université de soutenance : Universität zu Köln.

Grade : Masters thesis 2018

Over the past two decades, the number of conservancies in Kenya has increased rapidly in the marginal semi-arid and arid areas in the north. Most of those involved in conservation are pastoral communities who give out their pastoral and agricultural land for conservation. A lot has been researched on conservancies particularly in the Southern Africa region. However, there is the need for more data on Community-Based Conservation (CBC) in eastern Africa and particularly in Kenya. The purpose of this study was to provide a detailed understanding of CBC in Kenya taking the case study of Il Ngwesi Conservancy. Therefore, this study aimed at 1) investigating the social, economic and ecological benefits of Il Ngwesi Conservancy to its members ; 2) characterising the institutions and the governance structure of the conservancy ; 3) assessing the role and participation of women in conservation efforts in a patriarchal society ; and 4) identifying the concerned stakeholders and their interests in the management of the conservancy. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used comprising : a socio-economic survey of 35 households from the seven villages of Sanga, Lokusero, Leparua, Nandunguro, Ethi, Chumvi, and Ngarendare ; 12 key informant interviews with conservancy managers, elders, representatives from key conservation stakeholders and women representatives ; and informal interviews with the group ranch members as well as elders. The study found out that most of the group ranch members (approximately 5,000 people) bought land outside the group ranch because of establishing the conservancy. Cultivation is the common land use practice on privately owned land, however, livestock production (95%) is the main source of livelihood among the members of Il Ngwesi group ranch. This study found that CBC contributed profound social-economic and ecological changes that would not have been achieved without the conservation efforts. For example, improved education system, security, health, water availability, access to cattle market and employment. According to Il Ngwesi members, pasture management has improved since the establishment of the grazing plan within the conservancy until its collapse in 2015 because of conflicts over grazing land with the members from the neighbouring Samburu group. Il Ngwesi members also claim that wildlife population has increased since the establishment of the conservancy. This is linked to increased security and reduced poaching. However, despite the benefits they derive from wildlife conservation, there are increased cases of human-wildlife conflicts specifically to those members living close to the conservation area as compared to those settled away. The study also found out that men participate more in conservation activities and major decision making of the group ranch than women. Co-management is a key concept to the management of the group ranch because several stakeholders support them.


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