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Africa Fact File

Maasai sounds

Despite a rapidly changing world, the proud Maasai people of the African Rift Valley and savannahs are holding strong to traditions, including their dances and songs. There is nothing as stirring as the sounds of a Maasai warrior song or a women's praise song. If you would like to hear clips of Maasai songs - and order a terrific CD full of Maasai music and praise songs - be sure to visit, a project of American Hans Johnson and Kenyan Maasai Simon ole Tumanka. The CD also captures the infectiously happy spirit of Maasai youth practicing their songs - and laughing uproariously.

ACC YouTube


News from the South Rift


Welcome to the website for the U.S. office of the African Conservation Fund.

In the U.S., we operate as African Conservation Fund, a 501c3 non-profit, to raise funds and awareness for science and conservation in East Africa.

The mission of African Conservation Fund is to conserve wildlife and the natural environment through collaborative application of both scientific and indigenous knowledge, and by enhancing livelihoods and developing local institutions.

Photo by William Yancey

Chairman, Dr. David Western describes the mission of ACF

Bulletin:  the Conference on Conserving Elephants has just been Concluded.






March 2014


More information available in this pdf: Click here to download the PDF!

The workshop was organized and hosted by African Conservation Centre (ACC) and Wildlife

Conservation Society (WCS), funded by the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation and

endorsed by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute and the Kenya Wildlife Service.

The workshop brought together government agencies, community representatives, and

conservation and research organisations working in the Kenya-Tanzania borderland to

collaborate on meeting the conservation needs of people, elephants and lions in the borderlands.

This is the second full workshop of organisations involved in the Borderland Conservation

Initiative since its inception two years ago. The initial Arusha meeting was succeeded by several

smaller government, community and non-governmental organisations meetings.



The goals of the workshop were to bring together government agencies, community

representatives and conservation organisations working in Tanzania-Kenya borderland in order:

· Take stock of the Borderland Conservation Initiative.

· Review progress over the past two years.

· Draw up formal arrangements and action plans.



The workshop was opened by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, the Tanzania Wildlife

Division and the Kenya Wildlife Service. The aims of the Borderlands Conservation Initiative

were deemed consistent with the elephant and lion management plans for both countries and

were fully supported. The government representatives also endorsed the recommendations of the

communities to combine lion and elephant conservation.


The workshop reviewed the progress of Borderland Conservation Initiative (BCI) since 2012. The

steps taken included convening meetings of borderland communities; preparing proposals in

support of their recommendations; raising funds; conducting surveys of elephant poaching;

launching emergency measures to protect vulnerable populations; bringing together scientists

and researchers to draw up monitoring, data collection protocols and a common database;

training and deploying community scouts, and providing funds to NGOs in Tanzania and Kenya


To set up community-based anti-poaching operations. The activities saw a significant reduction in

poaching levels both side of the border in the areas covered.

A report was given of the borderland meeting of lion researchers and conservation organisations

held in January. The meeting produced an action plan, set up task forces and agreed on protocols

for lion surveys to identify individuals, gaps in coverage, map the borderlands metapopulation

and conduct genetic studies.


The breakout sessions that followed covered a range of topics, including strengthening and

coordinating community conservation; monitoring, research, collection standards and data

integration and access terms; Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and coordination among

partners; and conservation integration with government and the East African Community (EAC).

The recommendations were presented to the plenary for discussion.


The plenary sessions laid out the administrative structure for the Borderland Conservation

Initiative. The sessions also set up task forces to oversee government to government

collaboration; cross-border community collaboration; cross-border lion research and conservation,

and cross-border elephant research and conservation. Each group is to prepare an action plan and

agree on the terms of collaboration. Two coordinators are to be appointed to coordinate activities

under the direction of ACC in Kenya and WCS in Tanzania. ACC will serve as the overall

administrator for the programs.


Community game scouts were seen as key to protecting wildlife outside and around parks,

stemming elephant poaching and reducing human-wildlife conflict. It was agreed that SMART

(the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) should be used as a common method of monitoring

and improving anti-poaching efforts. The NGOs engaged in SMART agreed to provide training for

the heads of community security operations.


A secure website platform is in development to allow partners to share data, communicate

securely and post BCI findings for public access. It was agreed that a partnership between BCI

and the section of the East African Community responsible for the EAC Transboundary

Ecosystems Management Act (2012).


A final session was held on the fund-raising opportunities to support the trans-border

conservation programs. USAID-PREPARED (Planning for Resilience in East Africa though

Policy, Adaptation, Research and Economic Development), the J.R.S Biodiversity Foundation, the

MacArthur Foundation, the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation, the National Science

Foundation and others organisations were noted as possible sources of support.

All photos by Bill Yancey


Government agencies

Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife Division, Kenya Wildlife Service.



Ujamaa Community Resource Trust, Wildlife Management Area representatives from Enduimet, Longido, Natron, Gelai, Maasai Mara conservancies, South Rift Association of Landowners, Amboseli Ecosystem Trust, Amboseli-Tsavo Group Ranches Conservation Association, Mwaluganke Wildlife Sanctuary and community scouts associations.

Non-government organizations

Wildlife Conservation Society, PAMS Foundation, World Elephant Center, The Nature Conservancy, African Elephant Specialist group, Fauna Flora International, African Wildlife Foundation, Tanzania Natural Resource Forum, Honey Guide Foundation, Maliasili Initiatives, World Wildlife Fund, Amboseli Elephant Program, Elephant Voices, African Conservation Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Youth for Conservation, Save the Elephants and tourism and hunting industry representatives.






Project Name: Rebuilding the Pride

For current information:

Project Manager:  John Kamanga – SORALO (Coordinators:  Guy Western/Lily Maynard)

Funding From:  Cincinnati Zoo’s Angel Fund

Rebuilding the Pride aims to increase lion and other carnivore numbers across the South Rift, linking the Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo into a viable meta-population. The program centers on reducing human-wildlife conflict, preventing range fragmentation and maintaining healthy prey numbers.The project explores the basis of traditional practices among pastoralists that allow herders to coexist with wildlife and minimize conflict with predators. The program builds on the long-term research and community-based conservation programs of the Amboseli Conservation Program and the African Conservation Fund. It is a community program of the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO).