NORTHERN RANGELANDS TRUST (NRT)
There are currently 39 community conservancies covering 42, 000 square kilometres of northern and coastal Kenya, home to 320,000 people belonging to 18 different ethnic groups. This territory is also home to an equally diverse array of wildlife including elephant, lion, giraffe, oryx, hirola and black rhino. This complex ecosystem offers a hub of potential for the type of change, growth and conservation awareness that the CCFA is proud to have supported.
The NRT supports the management of community-owned land for the benefit of livelihoods, focusing on sustainable enterprise directly or indirectly related to conservation. Key focus points include good governance, wildlife, enterprise security and peace, rangelands and marine.
To date 71, 000 people have benefitted from the Conservancy Livelihood Fund.
- 700 women participated in peace-building training, from which they were historically excluded. This inclusion has highlighted the importance of the role of women in de-escalating conflict and positively influencing their sons and husbands.
- Last year only 3 elephants were poached in the NRT landscape Centre; the lowest recorded number following a decreasing trend during which a 97% drop in elephants poached for ivory between 2012 and 2018 was noted.
- More than 420 youths were engaged in conservancy initiative awareness, while over 850 youths were involved in dialogue meetings around key rangeland and peace issues.
The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) was supported by CCFA in celebration of NRT’s 15th anniversary in 2019. NRT started with just nine member conservancies back in 2004 and entered this new decade with 39 members strong. While the member conservancies are home to many different ethnic groups, landscapes and wildlife, one thing that unites them all is a central mission to act as indigenous institutions – to support the management of community-owned land for the benefit of improving livelihoods.
2019 was a particularly triumphant year for community-led livelihoods development in conservancies, with the BeadWORKS businesswomen earning a 94% increase in income compared to 2018, over 3,000 students receiving bursaries, and over 740 youth and women accessing vocational training through their conservancies. NRT made significant investments in tourism infrastructure and the Conservancy Livelihoods Fund to link improved livelihoods to better conservation.
Indeed, indigenous-led endangered species conservation continues to break new ground and gain worldwide recognition. The endangered Hirola in Ishaqbini Community Conservancy in Garissa County are thriving under community stewardship, and the first of Reteti’s rescued elephants were returned to the wild (and are now interacting with wild herds). Sightings of Grevy’s zebra and elephant in conservancies are increasing too. CCFA are happy to see that NRT are moving toward strengthening connectivity across the landscape through community conservancy networks – opening up ancient migration routes for so many species once again.
While 2019 certainly didn’t come without its challenges – the rain did not come until very late in the year and the majority of conservancies were suffering from a prolonged dry period – NRT continue to work with community conservancies, partners and County Government to build resilience and capability to weather climatic, political, and other storms.
Nearly all the countries in the world have promised to improve the planet and the lives of its citizens by 2030.
They’ve committed themselves to 17 life-changing goals, outlined by the UN in 2015. These Global Goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), include ending extreme poverty, giving people better healthcare, and achieving equality for women. The aim is for all countries to work together to ensure no one is left behind.