Community Conservation Paradigm: The Case Studies of Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary and lLNgwesi Community Conservancy in Kenya

Damiannah Kieti, George Manono, Stephen Momanyi


Conservation of biodiversity outside designated protected areas in Kenya, in the 21st century, is becoming increasingly difficult due to declining available land space, increasing human population, alienation of local people, lack of socio- economic incentives for conservation and lack of suitable models to be adopted. Although, the traditional national park model, led to the establishment of the key Kenyan parks and reserves, it cannot be adopted by any further study as it mainly emphasizes the wilderness and its biological resources, and places less emphases on expertise, needs and development of local communities (Wishitemi, 2008:103). Hence, the current network of protected areas is under many threats, unpopular and resented by local communities. As a result, the concept of community participation in tourism and other development initiatives has gained support since the 1980’s. Biodiversity resources outside Kenyan parks and reserves are under dangers of extermination unless communities are brought back to the center of conservation and appropriate community conservation areas outside this current network of Protected Areas are explored. Moreover, these community conservation areas must incorporate local wishes and succeed in working in lived landscapes that present a meeting place for human needs and conservation of local resources, especially in wildlife dispersal areas and pastoral communities of Kenya. Of necessity, community conservation initiatives must originate and be run by local people, and these projects should generate sustainable livelihoods, while securing dependable, sustained access to essential natural resources. Using the case study of Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary and Ilngwesi community conservancy, this study examines the efficacy of community conservation. Specifically, the study assesses how the development of community conservancies have contributed to environmental conservation and improved livelihoods of the local community. Finally, the paper discusses the development and future prospects of community conservation in Kenya.

Keywords: Community, Conservation, Ilngwesi, Mwaluganje, Paradigm, Sanctuary

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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