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Payments for biodiversity conservation in the
            Masai Mara: What impacts on pastoral
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Payments for biodiversity conservation in the Masai Mara: What impacts on pastoral livelihoods?

Poster prepared for the ILRI Annual Program Meeting (APM) 2010, held at ILRI campus, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, April 14-17, 2010.

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Payments for biodiversity conservation in the Masai Mara: What impacts on pastoral livelihoods?

  1. 1. Payments for biodiversity conservation in the Masai Mara: What impacts on pastoral livelihoods? Claire Bedelian, Graduate Fellow, PLE Theme, ILRI PhD Student, University College London Email: Introduction New payments for conservation • People, livestock and wildlife are competing for space in • A fixed monthly payment is made to Maasai the Masai Mara. landowners who move off their land and leave it • The Masai Mara has experienced serious declines in undeveloped in terms of settlement and agriculture. wildlife in the last 20 years (Ogutu et al., 2009). • Livestock grazing is prohibited or limited. • Few Maasai benefit from conservation incomes • A conservancy is set up for wildlife conservation and (Homewood et al., 2009). tourism. • There is increasing privatisation of the rangelands - • Payment is administered through tourism partners who Koyiaki Group Ranch, adjacent to the Masai Mara have exclusive rights to high-end eco-tourism facilities National Reserve is now fully subdivided. within the conservancy. Study area – Masai Mara Case study - The Olare Orok Conservancy (OOC) Set up in 2006, the OOC is a partnership between 154 Maasai landowners and 4 tourism investors. The OOC directly borders the Masai Mara National Reserve and now provides 20,000 acres of wildlife only habitat as settlements and livestock have been removed. Each landowner receives The Masai Mara National Reserve is situated on the KSH15,000 per month based border of Kenya/Tanzania on a 150 acre plot. No livestock grazing is currently Map showing new conservancies adjacent to the Masai Mara National Reserve allowed. Methods progress... • Questionnaire to assess the contribution of conservation payments The good... The bad... And the unknown... to overall household income, and to • Payments can • Tends to benefit • The nature of the compare member and non-member bring substantial the elite as based partnership between the households. returns to on (prime) land community and tourism landowners. ownership. partners. • Semi-structured interviews to explore Maasai perception of conservation • Payment system • Constrains • The effect of payments on payments, and to investigate removes previous livestock grazing wildlife distribution and conservancy institutional and distributional and and mobility. abundance. partnership arrangements. corruption issues. • Neighbouring non- • The long term vision as • Time series mapping of Maasai • Payments members lose out people and livestock are settlements to investigate changes in discourage the on both payment moved out into increasingly number and distribution of settlements development and and grazing areas. confined and crowded in relation to conservancies. onward sale of land. spaces. To be continued... The good news is … And the not so good news is … Payments for biodiversity conservation in rangelands can protect the Payments for biodiversity conservation in rangelands may not be environment and generate real financial incentives for landowners to compatible with other livelihood activities: This research is helping to assess provide environmental services. the trade-offs for pastoral livelihoods versus biodiversity conservation to aid April 2010 in designing effective conservation payments. References Homewood K., Kristjanson, P, and Chevenix Trench, P. 2009. Staying Maasai? Livelihoods, conservation and development in East African Rangelands, New York, Springer. Ogutu, J.O., Piepho, H-P, Dublin, H.T., Bhola, N., and Reid, R.S. 2009. Dynamics of Mara –Serengeti ungulates in relation to land use changes. Journal of Zoology, 278: 1-14