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holdings where people can settle and against which mortgages can be taken out for ‘improvement’.  However given the ecology, rainfall and soils of the area, it has been shown that subdivision can have serious and destructive ecological, economic and social consequences.

Impacts of unplanned tourism developments:  There is an inherent danger that Amboseli could become the victim of its own success,  with the impact of unplanned tourism potentially  destroying the resource on which tourism depends.  The Amboseli-Kilimanjaro area does not yet benefit from regional and rational planning of various types of visitor use and accommodation, and to allow for the cultivation of market niches.  As a result, too many people are rushing after too few ideas and dollars with detrimental effects:

Destruction of wildlife as a political statement: The local communities are highly aware that not all wildlife species attract the same attention, or have the same political implications in the international arena.  As various promises have been broken and expectations disappointed, Maasai warriors have developed a local habit of destroying highly visible wildlife species or individuals when they feel that wildlife needs are being put before human needs.  The most relevant examples are the spearing of elephants and the poisoning of the park’s lions.

6.9. Water management

In most parts of savannah Africa, water is a key resource and often the one around which a conservation area has been formed.  In Amboseli as well, water continues to be a crucial issue for the park and pastoralists.  From the time the park was formed, promises were made to the local community about schemes for providing for the alternative supply of water outside of the park.   The operation of these schemes has suffered for both managerial and technological reasons.

Finding more lasting and appropriate alternatives to the water supply issue is therefore a key threat to the long term management of the heartland.

6.10. Weak institutional structure and political conflicts

The group ranch system throughout Kenya has been criticized for problems with accountability and for the fair distribution of benefits.  Around Amboseli, sharp divisions have emerged between cliques on some of the group ranches making unified action or negotiation difficult.

Opportunities to Address Threats by Enterprise and CBO development under CORE project:

The Greater Amboseli has a high potential for a high return on conservation investment for reasons including:

The high economic potential of the park and surrounding areas

The relative peace and stability of the area.

The convergence of interests between maintaining range for wildlife and for livestock

Opportunities to use the scientific and economic value of the elephant population

Although specific site and project selection still needs to be finalized, the following  opportunities which exist  under the CORE project:

Strengthen the capacity of existing NRM  and wildlife institutions (e.g. Amboseli Tsavo Group Ranches, Machakos Wildlife Forum)

Provide training in governance and accountability to Group Ranch Committees

Develop systems for revenue/benefit distribution that are fair

Assist local CBOs (particularly pastoralist groups) in networking, information sharing, common vision, resource leveraging.

Undertake community enterprise development activities – ecolodges, campsites, cultural bomas, interpretive centers, walking safaris, beekeeping,  plant utilization etc.  either as new ventures or with existing conservation areas (e.g. Eselengei)

Conduct ecosystem-level enterprise planning

Kara PagePage 4310/23/2006

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