Tsavo Trust has played a stewardship role, over the last 8 years, by establishing two significant community-based conservation initiatives that border onto the formal protected areas of Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. Kamungi Conservancy (with the WaKamba people) bordering onto the northern boundary of Tsavo West and Shirango Community Conservancy (with the Watha and Giriama people) who border onto the southern boundary of Tsavo East. Both conservancies have created a vital conservation buffer to the protected areas and at the same time these marginalised communities have enjoyed many and varying benefits derived from the conservancy model.
This maps shows the Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) comprising Chyulu Hills, Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks in darker green (area of 22,000 km squared); dispersal areas in light green; the Kamungi Conservancy to the north in orange; and the Shirango Community Conservancy to the south in light brown (area of 20,000 km squared). Tsavo Trust HQ is situated within Kamungi Conservancy.
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The Kamungi and Shirango Community Conservancies fall under one of three key goals for Tsavo Trust, to ‘Establish strong and effective community- led conservation and development initiatives’ through the Conservancy Model:
Communities living in the TCA need effective avenues to benefit from the natural resources that they could better protect. Through working closely with communities to establish, strengthen, and expand community conservation, we intend to secure more land for conservation while increasing the benefits to community members, and create meaningful buffers to the protected areas. Our approach to this work is to strengthen community capacity to drive their own local initiatives, ensuring future self-reliance and local resilience. An empowered community results in a secure TCA.
Under this goal, Tsavo Trust seeks to address some vital issues:
Secure land tenure for local communities; expand areas under local community conservation management – establish additional conservancies and secure buffers to the park; strengthen governance and management structures; support human wildlife conflict mitigation strategies; improve community self-reliance through diversified income streams and tourism promotion and support partnerships to build capacity and agency of targeted communities.
Tsavo Trust – experience and understanding in the Community Conservancy Model:
Tsavo Trust’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Moller, worked for 11 years at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) managing the wildlife and security departments as Deputy Director. Over this time, the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) was established out of LWC’s Community Department, with NRT growing to become the model for community conservation in East Africa. Richard was highly involved in establishing and developing NRT and all that it stands for in those early years, giving him a firm understanding of the “Community Conservancy Model”. Tsavo Trust’s Community Conservancy Programme seeks to emulate these models in specific locations around the Tsavo Ecosystem through stewardship and development of Kamungi and Shirango Community Conservancies.