“The future of our landscape, and the health of the natural resources found in Laikipia and surrounding counties is very much dependent on how we empower future generations in taking care of these natural resources. Conservation Education is a fundamental tool in driving this empowerment” – Tom Sylvester, Loisaba Conservancy.
Loisaba Conservancy is a 61,000 acre conservancy located close to Maralal. Recently, it celebrated the opening of a newly constructed lodge after a devastating fire destroyed the original one just two years ago. Loisaba has plans to develop even further, hoping to bring fresh ideas to Laikipia’s range of conservation based tourism activities. The Loisaba management is focusing heavily on Conservation Education (CE) as a land-use to empower future generations on the possibilities of how this area can be managed.
Now part of Wild Class, Loisaba is planning to invest substantially in its CE programme by providing a space where students can learn more about protecting wildlife. One of the ways it is doing this is through its sniffer-dog programme. It hopes to give kids access to research in a real “living laboratory”.
Partnership with The Nature Conservancy
One of Loisaba’s main strengths is that it enjoys a strong partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC). TNC has worked with land custodians for decades. TNC’s presence in Laikipia and Northern Kenya is significant because it is assisting local communities and land owners to develop their land in a way that creates meaningful benefits for everyone.
Livestock to Market is a proven program that provides pastoralists in northern Kenya with improved market access in exchange for their efforts to protect their lands and wildlife. By scaling-up ecotourism and grazing operations, and expanding this Livestock to Market idea, the Loisaba Conservancy can become a self-sustaining revenue engine for peace, community development and wildlife conservation.
The development of the conservancy’s CE programme will enrich revenues and more importantly ensure that the programme remains sustainable. CE provides an opportunity for students to learn how the conservancy’s conservation programmess work and gives a platform for further development of CE in Laikipia and surrounding counties.