Northern Rangelands Trust
There is a quiet revolution happening in northern Kenya, where over 100,000 people have decided to dedicate their land, 3 million acres in total, to wildlife conservation. This is a first in East Africa, if not across the whole continent and the movement, the Northern Rangelands Trust, forms the basis for Tusk’s support to community conservation.
The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) is a community-led initiative, registered in 2004, whose members represent politically and socially marginalized pastoralist communities of Northern Kenya, who are predominantly dependent on a purely livestock-based livelihood system. NRT was established by communities and other stakeholders involved in biodiversity conservation in Northern Kenya, recognising a need for an umbrella organisation that would assist communities to use biodiversity conservation and improved environmental management as a means of improving and diversifying livelihoods.
Northern Rangelands Trust
The NRT acts as a catalyst for development of community-based conservation initiatives and is currently working with 15 community conservancies in Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit and Baringo/East Pokot and Ijara districts (Fig.1), covering an area of over two million acres.
The overall aim of NRT is to improve the livelihoods of communities within the Trust area through the conservation of biodiversity on their land through the management and sustainable use of natural resources. NRT has an expanding membership of 18 Community Conservancies (community-led conservation initiatives), across northern Kenya of diverse ethnicity including Samburu, Rendille, Pokot, Laikipiak Maasai and Meru. A growing network of government, community and private owned conservancies are currently emerging as part of a mega-conservation area that includes Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba Nature Reserves, Meru National Park, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and NRT Conservancies among others.
Started in 2004 with backing from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy this non-government organisation has the backing of the Government of Kenya, with the Speaker of the National Assembly, as its Chair. Download an NRT map(PDF 240k) showing the location of the Northern Rangelands Trust community conservancies in northern Kenya.
NRT has developed a highly successful model for conservation that is centred around local communities. Each project is led by the community has developed on similar lines:
- Installation of communications system and community game scouts to provide security for the people, wildlife and livestock
- Establish simple and effective monitoring of the key wildlife species by community scouts
- Improve conservation awareness amongst the community
- Expose community leaders to other community-based conservation initiatives in order to understand potential benefits to conservancy development
- Provide a mechanism and foundation for development of sustainable and equitable partnerships between the community and private sector tourism
Tusk Trust believes that the engagement and facilitation of local communities in the development of sustainable conservation programmes is the key to successful wildlife conservation. Tusk has been a long-term supporter of both the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the conservancies now encompassed under the Northern Rangelands Trust umbrella.
For the latest news from NRT and to receive regular updates from the field follow this link NRT News.
Tusk has provided support to
- Il Ngwesi Group Ranch
- Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy
- Lekurruki Conservation Trust
- Ltungai Community Conservation Trust
- Mpus Kutuk Community Conservancy
- Nakuprat Conservancy
- Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust
- Ruko Community Wildlife Trust
- Sera Conservation Trust
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