FORUM FOCUS 1512 - page 2

with its programmes in water, support
to Mukogodo Forest, Rangelands
Management, Conservation Education,
and Wildlife Conservation. We’ll
continue to work with, and support our
local partners towhomwearecommitted.
Should youhave anyquestions
or concerns, please contactGilbert
Momanyi, who is leading our strategic
planning efforts on:
,
or0722-783808.
LWFstrategicplanningupdate
To help us in this effort, LWF has
partnered with Global Platform who
will provide us with expert facilitation
for meetings that will be held all over
Laikipia. There will be five teams, each
including local partners and Community
LiaisonOfficers (CLOs).Each teamplans
to conduct at least three meetings with
schools,WRUAs,CFAsandConservation
Enterprise Groups. The teams will also
meet with the public in trading centres to
learn more about members’ experience
and expectations for the future of LWF.
Teams will visit each of LWF’s five units
in Laikipia during themonths of January
and February 2016. In preparation for
this, the unit CLOs will alert members
to these meetings, as well as help with
logistics and organisation.
In addition, LWF staff will bemeeting
with theCountyGovernments ofLaikipia
and its neighbours, with researchers and
NGOs, with towns and special interest
groups, and with large ranches and
conservancies, asking them the same
questions about LWF services, functions,
and effectiveness. These additional
meetings will be scheduled between
January andMarch, 2016.
Finally, this information will be
analysed and provide the basis for three
document by the end of June namely;
A Strategic Framework for LWF
(through 2030); AStrategic Development
Plan (through 2020) and a Business/
Investment Plan to address our financial
sustainability.
In themeantime, LWFwewill continue
CONSERVATION INACTION
December 2015 IssueNo. 3
2 |
curriculum. In response to this, and in a
bid to give young minds an insight into
conservationworks, conservancieswithin
Laikipia and other northern territories are
playing a key role in offering first hand
experiences in holistic environmental
conservation. Students get to be up close
and personal to landscapes, wildlife and
local communities.
This dynamic use of land towards
conservation education has allowed
private individuals, organisations, and
corporations to steadily enter into
Conservation
Education
Enterprise
(CEE). Although WCK does not own
a single conservancy or influence
management of national parks and game
reserves, the organisation has played a
key role in the establishment of student
hostels innational parks.At presentWCK
also generates income from the sale of
merchandise, offering training for youths
intending to join the hospitality industry
and saleofmembershipcards that enables
subsidised entry fees to national parks.
CEE’s seek to conserve biodiversity
above all; however, in many cases they
also seek to profit or at least break even.
Conservation as a land use activity
is considered extremely relevant in
supporting sustainabilityandaviable land
useactivity.With theadditionofeducation
enterprise in Laikipia, it is envisaged
that this will offer sustainability to
conservation education, making it viable
for service providers to continue offering
students a place to learnmore about their
country’s natural resources. However,
the product offering in Laikipia has to
be defined and where possible improved
to compete with circuits offered in other
conservation hubs in Kenya such as Rift
Valley and the coast. The involvement
of CE stakeholders is key to this process
and is essential to the success of CE
facilities in Laikipia. Other organisation
around Kenya undertaking conservation
education such as Elsamere Field Study
Centre, Giraffe Centre, Haller Park and
David Sheldrick have engaged inCEE as
awayof staying relevant and sustainable.
Laikipia County offers immense
opportunities for CEE as a form of land
utilisation. Historically, Laikipia’s vast
ecosystem was utilised for pastoralism
purposes by nomadic communities,
mainlySamburuandMasai.Landuseand
land tenure have changed over the years
inLaikipiaandwithchanging land tenure,
landusehas changedconsequently.Game
ranching that was undertaken together
with cattle ranching was stopped years
back leaving cattle ranching as one of the
main land use practices done in Laikipia.
Other land uses that have proven popular
in Laikipia are tourism, farming and
recently, real estate establishments have
been slowlymushrooming.
What Laikipia does with its CEE
opportunities and offerings will have a
great impact in conservation education in
Kenya. It will play a fundamental role in
re-connecting children with nature, who
will impact the inheritance of a better
planet by future generations.
Where will we get our water?”
“From themountain, of course,”
replied our laughing guide. A
four-day trek up Mount Kenya
allowedus toseefirsthand theprominence
of theMount Kenya watershed.With the
ever-increasing development of Kenya,
the region has seen a series of challenges
that endanger the availability of water.
Overgrazing, illegal logging, and climate
change are just a few examples of the
manydangers. Over sevenmillionpeople
rely on this watershed to survive, and for
this reason the shortage of water has not
gone unnoticed. LaikipiaWildlife Forum
is oneof several organizationsworking to
improve water resource management in
the county. LWF has aided in developing
23 Water Resource Users Associations,
has worked to train and better inform
its members, and also improve sub-
catchment plans.
Another organisation directly involved
inwater resourcemanagement onMount
Kenya is theMount Kenya Trust (MKT)
Gwili Gibbon, a conservation biologist
at MKT, said, “Our focus is currently
on securing the water catchment areas
through the establishment of local
community-sourced patrol teams and
working closely with KWS, KFS and
RhinoArk to ensure catchment areas are
not lost.”
Although these two organisations
are both exemplars of water resource
management, perhaps more important
than any individual organisation, is the
collaboration of these groups. It is only
through shared labors that large-scale
progress can be made. Cooperation and
unified effort is how the Mount Kenya
watershedwill be sustained, and it is how
real changewill bemade.
Mt.Kenya,more thanahiker’sdream
Students fromMainaPrimarySchool afteranexcursion
7million
View fromLenanaonMtKenya
ArticlebyAnnaliseWilliams (St. LawrenceUniversity internwithLWF)
numberof people
relyon thisMt.
Kenyawatershed
to survive
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