On 7th May 2021, stakeholders convened in Dol Dol for a review of the Laikipia County and Community Wildlife Conservancies Bill.
Among the stakeholders present include: the Laikipia Forum, the Laikipia Tourism Association, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) and the Laikipia Conservancies Association.
The meeting was organized by the County’s Ministry of Water, Environment and Natural Resources in partnership with the Amaya Triangle Initiative, which brings together, four counties: Baringo, Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo, to adopt sustainable policy approaches to address common development challenges that include food insecurity, the environment, natural resource management, among others.
The purpose of this Bill is to;
- Enable County Government to aid in the establishment of County and Community Wildlife Conservancies as per the provisions of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013.
- Provide for the recognition of existing County and Community Conservancies by the County.
- Seeks to establish a county and community conservancies fund in the county.
- Provide avenues for collaboration with other partners to provide technical support for county and community conservancies.
- Support the County Wildlife conservation and compensation committee in the performance of their functions.
- Support conservation education awareness and capacity building.
- Promote good governance in the management of the County reserves, county conservancies and community wildlife conservancies.
The CEC, Ministry of Water, Environment and Natural Resources reiterated throughout the meeting that in Laikipia, there’s a lot of underutilized lands which can be converted into conservancies as a form of land use.
Samburu and Narok were pointed out for having successfully done this.
He also said that Laikipia can also explore the possibility of having Group Conservancies here in Laikipia. Group conservancies are formed by combining private land which shares a common border to form a larger land and are viable for Wildlife Management and conservation. (Mostly found in the Mara).
Among the key issues raised by the stakeholders include.
- The Stakeholders felt that the document did not capture private conservancies and that it does not highlight what assistance and support that will be provided to these conservancies.
- Another area of contention was the composition of the Laikipia Wildlife and Community Wildlife Conservancies Committee where most of the stakeholders felt that the document had too many County Government officials. A few stakeholders also suggested that representatives of the community conservancies should be included from 4 to 6.
- Additionally, the stakeholders also felt that the chairperson of the County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation committee should be vetted and competitively selected rather than being appointed.
The CEC, Water Environment and Natural resources assured the stakeholders present that they would review the document again with the assistance of the County’s legal department and that the next step would be to take it through public participation.
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