CONSERVING ELEPHANTS AND LIONS IN THE KENYA-TANZANIA BORDERLANDS
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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.
GOALS OF THE CONFERENCE
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
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.
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: http://laleenok.wordpress.com/
Project Manager: John Kamanga – SORALO (Coordinators: Guy Western/Lily Maynard)
Funding From: Cincinnati Zoo’s Angel Fund
Summary: 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).