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LGT VP renews partnership with Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association to scale the conservancy model across Kenya and beyond

September 19, 2022

LGT VP's three-year follow-on investment will support KWCA in further expanding and improving its operations, financial strategy, and monitoring and evaluation.

LGT Venture Philanthropy Foundation (LGT VP) is delighted to announce a three-year follow-on engagement with Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA). LGT VP’s core funding and strategic support will enable KWCA to further expand and improve its organizational operations, financial strategy, and monitoring and evaluation.

KWCA serves as the national membership organization and representative body for Kenya’s conservancies, acting as their unified voice and connecting them with the key players in the country’s conservancy network. KWCA’s vision is to conserve ecosystems through thriving and effective conservancies that benefit local communities, wildlife and healthy ecosystems alike, while simultaneously combatting and mitigating Climate Change. Grounded in the idea that local communities and landowners are effective stewards of wildlife and habitats, KWCA works towards this goal by representing conservancies at the national policy level and by equipping landscape conservancy associations and conservancies with tools, technical support and capacity building. This support leads to favorable framework conditions for conservancies, empowered and well-managed conservancies, and a surge in improved livelihoods.

Over the past four decades, Kenya has experienced a 68% decline in its wildlife populations, and its forest cover shrunk from 10% to 6%. The conservancy model poses a sustainable solution for long-term conservation because it integrates local communities’ livelihoods and has potential for growth. Despite their overall success, the growth of community conservancies is impeded by insufficient policies and incentives, inadequate recognition and understanding of their impact, weak institutional and planning capacity, and weak governance structures. KWCA seeks to close these information, communication and legislation gaps.

Since its founding in 2013, KWCA has promoted favorable legislation which includes developing and reviewing the National Wildlife Policy 2020, Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013, Wildlife Strategy 2018 and the Community Land Act 2016. Additionally, KWCA has grown from two to 175 registered members and played a central role in unlocking funding for conservancy rangers through the government Economic Stimulus Program to cushion conservancies from COVID-19 impacts. In just five years, the land protected under conservancies has increased by 2.3 million hectares[1]. KWCA is working towards contributing to Kenya’s national biodiversity targets and development of the post 2020 Global Biodiversity framework to increase land under conservation to 30% by 2030 through the conservancy model.

LGT VP’s environment strategy focuses on an integrative approach of protecting and regenerating ecosystems, benefiting the environment and local communities alike. In line with this strategy, by advocating for the conservancy model across Kenya, KWCA tackles three interlinked challenges: biodiversity loss, lack of livelihoods and Climate Change. LGT VP has been active in “protecting the overall Maasai Mara ecosystem” since 2016 to strengthen the community conservancy model and develop carbon assets. KWCA is an important “puzzle piece” to complete LGT VP’s overall portfolio in Kenya, as it adds the national perspective and interface with the government to promote the conservancy model across the country. KWCA connects 13 on-the-ground organizations, such as Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA), with SaruniBasecamp Pardamat Conservation Area and Mara Naboisho Conservancy, with the national government to scale up successful conservancy models across Kenya.

Read the full press release here