Boasting a scenic landscape and extensive wildlife, northern Kenya supports a critical population of wild dogs, the second-largest elephant population in Kenya, and one third of Kenya’s rhino population, as well as endangered northern savanna species such as the Grevy’s zebra.
The region’s pastoralist communities rely heavily on livestock for their livelihoods, resulting in large herds that, through drought or other catastrophic events, may just as suddenly be depleted. This model of production creates significant economic and environmental risk.
The 90,000-acre private Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a financially self-sustaining conservation area that incorporates cattle ranching and meat processing. With a loan from AWF’s impact-investment subsidiary, African Wildlife Capital (AWC), Ol Pejeta is pioneering a commercial trading partnership with its pastoralist neighbors whereby it purchases “finished” livestock from communities and on-sells it to its established distribution channels.
In addition to providing pastoralists access to high-value livestock markets and creating a regular flow of income from budget-based herd management, the project provides training on sound grazing management. It further creates incentives for pastoralists to tolerate wildlife, especially lions. Under the terms of the investment, bound by AWC’s conservation covenants, and with benefits for wildlife conservation and improvements in human livelihoods, it’s a win–win for all involved.
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