TSAVO TRUST - AN OVERVIEW
TSAVO TRUST is a Kenyan not-for-profit organisation, created to support wildlife conservation and community conservation in Kenya's greater Tsavo ecosystem.
This ecosystem, often referred to as the greater Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) spans 16,000 square miles (42,000 square kilometres) in southern Kenya. Half of this expanse comprises three adjoining National Parks (Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills) managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and constituting the country's largest officially gazetted protected area. Around these Parks lies a network of small towns and villages, ranches, rural private and communal lands.
The TCA holds significant wildlife populations, both inside and outside the National Parks, including the country's largest single elephant population, numbering just over 12,000 animals (2011 census).
The key challenges faced by the Tsavo region include:
- Poverty and underlying socio-cultural problems including insecurity in certain areas, poor access to education and healthcare, lack of prospects and general despondency;
- Habitat degradation and ensuing loss of ecosystem services vital to the wellbeing of all Kenya's people;
- Resource-driven conflicts, driven by intensified competition over pasture and water; and escalating human-wildlife conflict;
- Reduction in wildlife numbers and space for wildlife, amounting to the diminishing of a key economic resource for the region and the country as a whole;
- Limited technical and financial capacity to manage wildlife outside the officially gazetted National Parks;
- Lack of community awareness of the national and global importance of the Tsavo ecosystem, the exceptional biodiversity it contains, the value of wildlife in general and the need to protect these assets for the benefit of all.
To address these challenges, TSAVO TRUST runs a range of integrated projects, with the following key objectives:
- Enhance wildlife conservation through partnership with and direct support to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the national wildlife authority, for their operations inside the National Parks and to work with local communities to create a physical buffer along vulnerable National Park boundaries;
- Increase public awareness of the role wild animal welfare plays in the wider conservation agenda, particularly with a view to enhancing public awareness of the value of wildlife to a country like Kenya and to the world.
- Build a robust, transparent, responsible and responsive not-for-profit organisation, which works in support of wildlife conservation in Tsavo.