Kenya Rangelands Ecosystem Services Productivity (RangER) pRogramme
Lead organizations: Northern Rangeland Trust, Kenya
Partners: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya; World Agroforestry; Community Safety Initiative, Kenya; E4Impact Foundation, Kenya; Baringo, Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu county governments, Kenya.
Key thematic areas
The RangER program seeks to adopt an integrated landscape approach in the four counties constituting the Amaya Triangle area in Kenya: Laikipia, Baringo, Samburu and Isiolo. The program aims to enhance the productivity of ecosystem services provided by rangelands within Amaya Triangle counties through investments in evidence-based climate-smart feed resources, an array of climate-smart tree-wildlife-and natural resource-based livelihoods, and by enhancing the capacity of Amaya Triangle counties in governance, peace, and security for both wildlife and people. These actions will result in multiple benefits including, among others: improved human and livestock well-being, enhanced ecological connectivity and biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and improved resilience of local communities, biodiversity, and ecosystems to climatic shocks.
Communities are increasingly exposed to drought, livestock disease and conflicts linked to scarcity of rangeland resources caused by climate extremes. Droughts result in a shortage of pasture and cause water sources to dry up or shrink, forcing pastoralists to migrate to adjacent counties in search of water and pasture. This regularly results in conflict, destruction of property and loss of human life, wildlife poaching, and trafficking. Declining biodiversity and pressure on the fragile arid ecosystems results in land degradation.
To support Kenya in eradicating poverty by enhancing the productivity of ecosystem services provided by rangelands for food, feed, human and wildlife security in the Amaya Triangle counties of Kenya.
The Amaya Triangle is a mosaic of savanna grasslands, shrublands and woodlands to the north of Mount Kenya, within four arid and semi-arid counties: Baringo, Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo. Key wildlife and pastoralist grazing corridors connect the counties at a landscape level, with livestock and wildlife transiting to the Aberdares mountain range to the southwest and Mount Kenya to the east, especially during drought years. The traditional pastoralist communities living in the region are among the most marginalized and poorly served groups in Kenya, living within a highly degraded landscape and facing high levels of poverty and threats from conflict. The area hosts private and community ranches that support both livestock production and wildlife conservation. Increasing changes in land use away from pastoralist rangeland to crop production and settlements have resulted in clusters of problems around insecurity, resource conflicts, poverty, food insecurity, social exclusion, and severe degradation of natural resources. Frequent droughts and climate change coupled with human and livestock population growth have exacerbated this situation.
Community conservancies will be created, expanded, or strengthened in partnership with communities and local county governments. Transferring governance responsibility to local communities will enable them to find solutions for sustainably securing areas under tension, and facilitate access to water, education, health care and economic development, thereby improving local livelihoods. The participatory approach to the management of community-owned land aims to assure strong buy-in and genuine appropriation by all stakeholders to ensure sustainable ecosystem management.
The community conservancy model, based on the legal recognition of wildlife conservation as a land use and linked to tourism, will be deepened and expanded as part of increasing income streams for local communities. Support will be given to strengthen the secretariat and governance mechanisms of the Amaya Triangle Initiative, and cross-boundary peace and reconciliation efforts will be enhanced through training and conflict-resolution strategies.
Communities will be assisted to map degraded hotspots through GIS techniques to identify restoration options or fodder production; create cross-border and multi-ethnic wildlife/livestock areas contiguous with other community conservancies for climate-resilient and ecologically sustainable feed and livelihood systems; and control invasive species.
Communities will also be introduced to different agroforestry and afforestation options to increase feed and food security, including tree-based investments (such as aloes and honey and fruit tree production). Opportunities for diversifying livelihoods from natural resources will be created and expanded through entrepreneurial skills training.
RangER Program Lead
Tel: +254 (0) 723 282 281