Tourism investors and the local communities in the Maasai Mara have over the last two decades strived to achieve a balance between conservation and development, and between people and the environment. Progressive initiatives, willingness and committed partnerships have led to the establishment of 14 conservancies and to securing critical wildlife populations and their habitats.
Currently, a total of 39 out of the 60 camps and lodges in the conservancies are supporting monthly land lease payments for 336, 191 acres of land belonging to 13, 236 land owners. Conservancy rent is the main source of income for most households in Maasai Mara today. Land leased out to conservancies not only provides a regular source of income but also acts as a grass bank for livestock. Income is then invested in education, healthcare and household needs such as food. The benefits and opportunities created by conservancies have seen the landowners rely on the conservancy to secure their livelihoods.
Furthermore, through conservancies, the community can self-organize, enabling elective and accountable leadership, with Annual General Meetings for all members to attend. Nominated conservancy boards with both tourism parties and landowner representatives cultivate a common vision, a sense of communal decision-making and are a prerequisite for community development. Government and non-governmental actors are now using these structures as entry points for implementing and managing community based projects.
While the Government of Kenya has reinforced environmental protection by giving its communities the opportunity and rights to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies, tourism investors in the Maasai Mara are giving communities a stake in the wildlife tourism industry.
See map of camps and lodges supporting conservation and sustainable community livelihoods in the Maasai Mara.
A cultural landscape where communities and partners secure wildlife and sustainable livelihoods for a better future.
To conserve the greater Maasai Mara ecosystem, through a network of protected areas, for the prosperity of all – biodiversity and wildlife, the local population, and recreation and tourism for the nation of Kenya.
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