Community Conservancies Can Be More Profitable Than Farming – by Peter Towett

Community Conservancies can be more profitable than farming. This depends upon where they are located and what they offer.

I personally feel radical measures should be adopted by the County Government of Taita Taveta in order to stop the rampant cases of Human-wildlife conflict. One of the best measures is setting up community conservancies or helping the existing ones achieve their intended goals, and start seeing the benefits from them.

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Kipalo Hills Lodge Main Area

The new Wildlife Conservation and Management Act of 2013, has already recognized community conservancies as a positive form of land use which can be adopted by communities or a group of land owners living in areas where wildlife naturally occurs. This makes me wonder why political leaders in the areas prone to human wildlife conflict don’t support such initiatives? Surely, supporting these kinds of projects would be more profitable than growing corn in such areas with unreliable rainfall.

 

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One of the room tents at Kipalo Hills

The Mbulia Conservancy electric fence is being completed thanks to US Fish and Wildlife African Elephant Conservation Fund, the Eden Trust, Disney Conservation Fund, and private donors. The fence will make the land continuous with Tsavo West National Park creating a safe haven for the wild animals, and mitigate conflicts experienced in the area. The lodge will bring in money and create more jobs for the community.

Conservation Legacy by Peter Towett

The word conflict is beaten around a lot these days and inevitably stirs up negative feelings. When you hear the word ‘conflict’, what do you immediately think of? You may think: battle, fight, war, struggle, violence and hatred. But do you also think of wildlife? It got me thinking about what conservationists leave behind in the communities they visit. Skills? Equipment? Capacity? Empowered communities?

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With the vast majority of the world’s biodiversity contained in some of the poorest regions, we as conservationists are sometimes required to work in collaboration with isolated, poverty-stricken communities who are most dependent on the resources that we are trying to conserve.

Conservation organizations and researchers are used to traveling huge distances around the country and regularly meeting people in remote areas. Yet to the people we meet, outside visitors may be rare and memorable experiences, possibly even talked about through generations. What we say and do will be remembered long after our time in an area. It is essential that we are aware of the bits we leave behind, our conservation legacy.

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Samburu church

Agreements, expectations and relationships are often viewed differently by different cultures. It is our responsibility to understand these differences, so that what we leave behind is positive and self-sustaining or at the very least clear and understood by the people who we have been working alongside. We know that people need information to be good thinkers and wise decision – makers. Understanding this is vital, for the people who have welcomed us to their homes and villages, and for people who may want to visit in the future, do research and help conserve biodiversity – all are warmly welcomed.

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Does this work well… yes!

World Elephant Day August 12, 2015

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It’s that time of year, August 12th will be the Third World Elephant Day. As conservationists and animal lovers; we must seize this opportunity to spread awareness. As we all know poachers will not stop unless they’re given a very good reason, and if we work together, we have the power to become that very good reason. We can work to reduce the market value and social acceptance of ivory, to implement better surveillance techniques, and to pressure governments to take an active hand in preventing poaching. We need to educate our people about the situation; some consumers in the Far East don’t even know that elephants or wild animals are killed for the ivory and rhino harvest to be possible.

Poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats faced by elephants and other wild animals.

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This year’s celebration comes as a blessing to Kenyans. During President Obama’s recent visit to Kenya and Ethiopia he declared a crackdown on ivory trade. He announced new measures that will stop the sale of ivory between states and include new restrictions on imports. It should be implemented by the end of the year and will help halt the rapid decimation of elephants.

We need to stand with our government and stakeholders alike to help them stop poaching in its tracks. If you feel inclined to do so, please consider donating to Amara Conservation and help make this a reality for the elephants of Kenya. You can make a difference; you can help us save the African elephant!

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Stopping Wildlife Trade: When the Ecosystem is Bleeding

Lupita poses with an elephant during her Kenyan tour Photo: Facebook/Lupita

Well written piece Mr. Malanda, thank you!? While we believe that taking care of orphaned baby elephants is a good thing, at the same time it’s important to work together to take care of the ecosystems and all who depend upon them.  LB

Snapshots: That is how NOT to save elephants, Lupita By Ted Malanda

First, dearest Lupita, if you want to save elephants, never say you love them. Revere and fear them. Love blinds one to reality. We don’t view elephants as ‘beautiful’ creatures down here. They destroy our crops, flatten our huts, kill and impoverish us. That is why newspapers call them ‘marauding herds of elephants’.

You will see pictures of angry villagers demonstrating against rampaging jumbos, or gleefully chopping an elephant they have just speared into pieces of meat for the pot. If you are very lucky, you might see a picture of a KWS ranger atop an elephant carcass, rifle in hand, trying and failing comically to reenact Ernest Hemingway’s aristocratic pose from one of his hunting expeditions in Africa. You could also bump into a picture of elephant carcasses shrunk with starvation, following a prolonged drought, or a tiny report tucked away in a corner of the newspaper describing terrified villagers fleeing, after a herd of ‘marauding elephants’ trumpeted into their village with the swagger of a well-fed politician. This in a place where elephants have not been seen in 50 years. Read more