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“Improved Livelihoods and Protected Area Management in the Kamungi Conservancy, bordering onto the Tsavo West National Park, Kenya, using the Social Assessment of Protected Areas Tool as a Framework for Progress”

Kamungi Conservancy is located in the southern sector of Makueni County, Mtito Andei Ward. It borders onto the northern boundary of the Tsavo West National Park (TWNP), with the Mombasa-Nairobi highway to the West and the Athi River to the East. Tsavo Trust has partnered with this community for the last 8 years.

The Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) is vast, spanning 48,000km2. It incorporates Kenya’s largest Protected Areas (PAs); Tsavo East (TENP), TWNP and Chyulu Hills National Parks, which make up 49% of Kenya’s PA network and cover 24,000km2. Tsavo faces many threats including poaching for bushmeat and ivory/horns for the IWT; mega infrastructure developments; habitat destruction; constant Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) and climate change challenges.

Kamungi Conservancy is arid and marginalised, and the people living here are in desperate need of meaningful interventions that can help address issues such as poverty, water shortage, healthcare, Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC), unemployment, food insecurity and lack of alternative livelihood opportunities.

In June to December 2021, Tsavo Trust (TT) applied the Social Assessment of Protected and Conserved Areas (SAPA) tool to the Kamungi Conservancy. The process focused on four main factors including trust, communication, addressing negative impacts and building on positive impacts identified by the community themselves. Through this project Tsavo Trust, alongside its partners will begin the process of addressing some of these key challenges using the action plan developed during the phase 5 SAPA process.

During SAPA process HWC was ranked as the highest negative impact at 99%. Under this project Tsavo Trust will construct another 3 10% fences benefiting approximately 30 people. Lack of employment opportunities was ranked 5th at 81%. Under this grant TT will provide salary support to the Kamungi Scouts team (5 scouts directly benefiting and at least 50 members indirectly benefiting from income into their households). Community participation was also considered during the SAPA process. Community members were asked to rank three statements with agree, disagree, and do not know; the criteria used for electing Kamungi Conservancy leadership is clear, communication between Tsavo Trust and community is good and decisions by Tsavo Trust on CDP projects are influenced by communities. 27% of the respondents disagreed and 27% of the respondents did not know. Under this grant, TT will work alongside Kamungi to address these concerns by aiding in the review of the current governance structures and ensure elected individuals have been selected by the community in a fair and gender equality manner. Tourism is one of the most powerful ways for a local community to see tangible benefits from wildlife and habitat conservation. Under this grant, TT will establish a tourism facility in Kamungi Conservancy.

The project goal is to actively involve the local communities in conservation efforts, through the creation of buffers to the National Parks, giving them control over the conservation which directly affects them, whilst also incorporating livelihood improvements such as job opportunities, a long term and sustainable revenue stream to enhance community ownership and food security through HWC mitigation.

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Expected results and outcomes

  1. Enhanced food security, improved community perceptions and a secure “buffer for wildlife including high value species.
  2. Provide employment opportunities and reduce illegal wildlife crime through the employment of the Kamungi Community Scouts team.
  3. Governance structures reviewed, enhanced, and understood by Kamungi community developing gender friendly Board and trust between the Board, Tsavo Trust and Community greatly improved.
  4. Creating a revenue generation stream for the Kamungi Conservancy that will promote a self-sufficient community conservancy; a recognised and equal stakeholder; able to fund their own development projects.
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About BIOPAMA

The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in protected areas and surrounding communities. It is an initiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States financed by the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF), jointly implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). Building on the first five years of activities financed by the 10th EDF (2012-2017), BIOPAMA’s second phase provides tools for data and information management, services for improving the knowledge and capacity for protected area planning and decision making, and funding opportunities for specific site-based actions.

This webpage has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States through the BIOPAMA Programme. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Tsavo Trust and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union nor of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.’

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