Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF, known as the Forum) is a dynamic membership based organization with over 20,000 members. The Forum is a vital vehicle in the realization of the goals and aspirations of small land holders, community groups, conservancies and large land owners focused on integrated natural resources management in a 15,000 km2 landscape in central Kenya.
The Forum began in this landscape in 1992. 26 years have given the organization trust, familiarity and accountability with communities, local government, national authorities, and conservancies.
The Forum has managed grants from international sources such as the USAID, World Bank, EU, Dutch Government, multiple international NGO partners, philanthropists, etc.; and managed these funds and their reporting to international standards.
The program areas of the Forum are: wildlife conservation, land use, forest management, water management, rangeland management, sustainable tourism, and conservation education.
The Forum has joined with US-based, Empowers Africa a registered 501c(3) dedicated to supporting partners and programs in the areas of human empowerment, wildlife protection and land conservation in sub-Saharan Africa.
Their projects are all aimed at helping the less advantaged conservationists in this landscape with grant applications, their management, and accountability – all aimed at giving capacity and empowering those groups in whose hands the future of our environment lies.
Find out more at laikipia.org
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Four Forum projects with immediate needs are listed below:
Mazingira Conservation Fund (MCF)
Timeline: By the end of 2020 we want to build an endowment for grant making. Grants will be used in 2021 and beyond.
This grant fund has raised almost $60K (formerly known as the Rhino Revival Fund-RRF). The Forum is working to leverage an additional 240K for a total goal of $300K. This grant fund is invested in a safe, high-interest yield account at 10% per annum in Kenya. The capital generated from interest supports a small grants fund for Human Wildlife Conflict prevention, wildlife corridor protection, and incentives for wildlife conservation ALL AIMED at rural communities. The higher the invested principle, the greater the annual grant amount.
We anticipate the average grant size to be between $5-10K to start with. Local, rural groups and communities will be able to apply for these grants, with grant oversight and guidance provided by the Forum. Monitoring and evaluation will also be conducted at regular intervals, and performance reports published through the Forum on an annual basis.
IlNgwesi Conservancy: Rhino Conservation Project
Total Budget: $40,000
Timeline: 6-9 months years: 2020-2021
One of the first community conservancies to take on rhino conservation, IlNgwesi is the first conservancy to be registered with a community land title. Their community land use efforts will focus on expansion of rhino habitat in conjunction with Lewa and Borana conservancies. IlNgwesi lies along an important wildlife dispersal and migratory corridor. Much of their capital investment is part of the APLRS/Rhino Impact Investment funding anticipated over the next few years; but there are very practical, straightforward costs that need to support this project before fencing, corridor development and rhino conservation can commence. There are two parts to this project:
- Water Resources Assessment and Management Plan
Timeline: 2 months – August-September 2020
A detailed understanding of water availability, quality, quantity, demand, and requirements for the future of this area is needed for people, wildlife, and livestock who will co-habit this conservancy. This project requires $20K and includes consultancy fees, community engagement/public meetings and transport.
- Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)
Timeline: 4-6 months: Oct.–Dec. 2020/February 2021
A requirement by law, the ESIA evaluates the projected management plans for their environmental and social impacts to people, wildlife and livestock, their status and future. No investments can legally take place without the approval of the National Environmental Management Authority. This project requires $20K for an assessment team to conduct the ESIA to national standards. Costs include consultancy team fees, community engagement, mandatory public participation in the review and approval of the final ESIA, and its publication.
ILMAMUSI Forest Association
Timeline: 3 years
The last large remnant forest of Laikipia (Mukogodo Forest- 302km2) is a biodiversity hotspot, national forest reserve, and forms the end point of a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve that stretches from Mt. Kenya to the Mukogodo Forest (Fig. 1). The forest is registered with the Kenya Forest Service but is managed by a local Community Forest Association (ILMAMUSI) comprising 4 Maasai community conservancies. They play a vital role in natural resources management and wildlife conservation. They are seeking to double their law enforcement body, provide suitable ranger stations, improve all resource monitoring, and to develop a business plan that manages user fees from controlled resource access and tourism to support their annual operations. Their three-year funding needs include $300K for equipment, monitoring tools, communications, ranger accommodation, business plan, and operations.
With this forest intact and secure, a major elephant movement corridor and dry season grazing reserve will be maintained, helping to link the wildlife movements of the lowlands in the Ewaso Ng’iro basin with Mt.Kenya.
Oramat Lenaboisho Cooperative Society (OLCS)
Project: ENEA (Enkitagoloto Naa Enkishui Ai) “empowerment is my livelihood”
Timeline: 3 years
Women are doing it for themselves!
In traditional Maasai society, women have few possessions; seldom do they own livestock; and seldom do they have control of income.
OLCS is changing that. The Cooperative is dedicated to improved animal husbandry and rangeland management in concert with strong conservation principles. They use a livestock-to-markets strategy to generate funds and support livelihoods.
OLCS is revolutionizing the role that women can play in income generation and livestock ownership. They have invited 8 women’s groups, comprising 320 women, to join them in their livestock to markets program. Under this project, each woman will bring one ram to form a collective herd. Project funds will supplement the women’s herd with 2 more rams each. The herds will be tended and helped with predator proof bomas (animal corrals) and regular veterinary care.
After five months of fattening, rams will be sold at a profit. Each group will benefit from the sales in three ways: 10% is plowed back into operating costs; 30% is put into women’s groups savings for households, health, and education. 60% of sales are reinvested in further livestock and the cycle repeats. After one year, women will be standing on their own feet, collectively managing their own livestock and savings account, and benefitting individually.
Women’s empowerment is not new to Laikipia or Kenya, but OLCS is helping us realize change for women, their families and their livelihoods in traditional Maasai society.
Donations can also be made by check or wire transfer:
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Thank you for your support!