Community Opinions on Wildlife, Resource Use and Livelihood Competition in Kimana Group Ranch Near Amboseli, Kenya
Okello, Moses Makonjio
Kahu, Henry C.
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Kimana Group Ranch (KGR) is a critical wildlife dispersal area for Amboseli National Park in Kenya. But irrigated agriculture in the group ranch is leading to increased conflicts and competition for land and other critical resources. This study used semi – structured interviews with group ranch members on their interactions with wildlife, resource use and access, land use changes and livelihoods. Most group ranch members practiced agriculture as opposed to pastoralism. The community noted that critical resources such as water, pasture, plant resources and space were declining, and mostly available further from their homes. Members identified agriculture expansion and human development as the main land use changes. Most members also supported agriculture expansion as well as group ranch subdivision. Even most members supported wildlife use of their land, they were unhappy about the lack of compensation for losses. Most members wanted communal wildlife sanctuaries managed by the local community rather than a foreign investor. The competition for land and its resources due to increasing human population and land use changes is limiting wildlife use of the group ranch, and hence insularizing Amboseli Park. Potential solution is to have a negotiated land use plan that harmonizing environmental conservation and local livelihoods, while diversifying people’s socio–economic opportunities to reduce poverty and dependence on natural resources.