Large mammals in Laikipia county are both diverse and numerous, perhaps more so than almost anywhere in East Africa. This includes half of Kenya’s black rhinos, the second largest population of elephants in Kenya, and the globally threatened grevy’s zebra. But what is perhaps most unusual about the wildlife numbers in Laikipia is that they are stable in the face of a sharp national decline.
To support Laikipia’s wildlife abundance, we helped develop the county’s first wildlife conservation strategy in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN). This set off the process of mobilising communities to proactively take part in the county’s wildlife conservation initiatives. We are implementing this strategy in order to achieve five broad objectives:
- secure and increase space for wildlife
- strengthen security for wildlife in Laikipia county
- maintain and enhance habitats and connectivity to maximize species diversity, ecosystem services and human well-being
- promote effective collaboration among stakeholders to enable effective wildlife conservation in Laikipia county
- minimise costs of living with wildlife
Conservation has no value without being relevant to the realities of the people who control and use the resources that need to be conserved. Achieving conservation goals is largely down to human choice. We work with local stakeholders in wildlife conservation and build their capacity to undertake conservation activities.We achieve this by involving different clusters of stakeholders including the Kenya Wildlife Service, County government, the judiciary, the owners and users of land, researchers and conservation NGOs. Our partners typically work together with us on both species and geographic conservation themes.
Our efforts also ensure that information on wildlife conservation is widely shared; to galvanize partnerships in support of conservation campaigns and activities; and to support the regular monitoring of wildlife populations so that we can evaluate the impact of our partnerships and actions. We work with law enforcement officials to improve the efficacy of the laws that we have, and to improve the regulations that support implementation of our conservation laws.