Many of the group ranch and conservancy meetings were conducted under the only shade available in this dry landscape
With the help of LWF, the Ol Lentille Conservancy (OLC) agreed with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) to conduct a “Governance Assessment” to learn more from its 10 years of community engagement and participation in the development of the OLC area. The original area of the Conservancy (5000 acres) now spans some 37,000 acres.
Three group ranches and 4 community conservancies are now participating in this conservation and land use model of the Ol Lentille Conservancy.
Local facilitators supported the IIED assessment team and field staff over a 10-day period in September of this year, and the effort was organised and administered by LWF with funding support from IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
The effort focused on better understanding the governance of the Ol Lentille model, and focused on the collection of feedback from key informant interviews and focus groups that included community conservancy members. This effort is guided by eleven commonly accepted principles of good governance, and is being conducted by IIED internationally, with four other sites in Kenya participating.
Themes for the assessment were selected through discussion and consensus. Results of the assessment illustrate some significant accomplishments through the Ol Lentille conservation model, but they also point to some key areas that need further support and focus.
Key feedback and recommendations now focus on efforts to improve participation in community decision-making, additional improvements to benefit sharing, more focused efforts on transparency and access to information, fair and effective law enforcement, and dispute resolution.
IIED, the Ol Lentille Conservancy Management, IUCN and LWF will continue to work together to provide valuable feedback of results to more community members since communication inside group ranches/community conservancies was sorely lacking, and communication between conservancies and group ranches was entirely insufficient.
LWF and OLC will also work with IUCN and IIED to implement priority recommendations, and to seek additional resources to improve the governance of this important land use model in Laikipia.
Kudos to all who participated including the excellent facilitation team and, to Ol Lentille Conservancy for their commitment to this exercise.