Tsavo Conservancies Network
Conservancies are constituent-owned and managed multi-land-use areas, which benefit rural people by using wildlife conservation and natural resource management as catalysts for security, stability, and human development. TsavoCon is working to develop and manage a network of Conservancies across Tsavo, Kenya’s largest intact natural ecosystem. To achieve this, TsavoCon assists the local residents who own these Conservancies to implement Stabilization through Conservation (StabilCon) as an effective strategy for enhancing the safety of both humans and wildlife, strengthening the rural economy, sustainably managing natural resources and building robust community governance systems.
The Government of Kenya’s Arid and Semi Arid Lands National Strategy 2005-2015 stated that Conservancies are an ‘avenue through which the community can become direct beneficiaries of wildlife and tourism. Participation is perhaps the best incentive for communities to conserve and take care of wildlife and other tourism resources.’
However, the benefits of the Conservancy concept go way beyond conservation and tourism alone. Well-managed Conservancies can yield multiple local, national and even international benefits for people by stabilizing regions, improving security, building local capacity, diversifying livelihoods, increasing community resilience, generating prosperity, reducing donor reliance, protecting the natural environment, facilitating access to social services and enhancing local governance.
There is credible evidence that ivory, charcoal and other natural resources are being used to fund militant extremist groups and organized crime. Due to its geographical location lying across the threshold of Kenya’s coast and interior, the Tsavo region is particularly vulnerable to exploitation. By stabilizing communities and denying would-be exploiters a foothold, Conservancies can act as a bulwark against the escalating threat of infiltration by organized criminal cartels and other divisive influences that historically have preyed on the poor and disenfranchised.
Not only can Conservancies spawn tangible benefits for people, they also create buffers protecting the ecological integrity of the National Parks, make more space available for wildlife and support Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the national wildlife authority, in its role of safeguarding for posterity Kenya’s rich biodiversity and areas of key environmental importance - for the benefit of all.
At TsavoCon, we claim no ownership to the Conservancies where we work. We operate as primary development partners in a stewardship or mentoring role, helping to build the institutional capacity of the resident communities who own the Conservancies and who live alongside wildlife so that they can turn this coexistence of humans and wild animals into one of mutual benefit instead of constant conflict.