In northern Kenya, conservancies are regarded in conventional development circles as a panacea to poaching, human–wildlife conflict and land degradation. In his article “Bring back the herder conservationist” (June 2021), published in the citizens’ e-platform The Elephant, Hussein Wario Tadicha of the Centre for Research and Development in the Drylands (CRDD) reveals how the nearly complete collapse of the tourism sector during the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the fault lines in the high-maintenance conservancy models.
Only a few conservancies can raise their own operational costs, let alone generate additional income for the communities. Most conservancies in northern Kenya cannot be self-sustaining without donor funding. The author argues that, for conservation to be sustainable within the drylands, an alternative herder-driven approach would be better. A herder conservationist system would provide a way of ensuring that, even with minimal incentives, communities can and will protect wildlife. This approach significantly reduces the overheads, thereby ensuring long-term sustainability.
Read more at: https://www.theelephant.info/long-reads/2021/06/07/bring-back-the-herder-conservationist/ The Elephant – Speaking truth to power.