African Conservation Centre (ACC) - Community-based Conservation - Kenya

We partner with pastoral communities, identifying and implementing innovative ways to enhance their traditional co-existence of both livestock and wildlife, advance conservation efforts, and build healthy ecosystems for all. Our programs focus on building conservation enterprise, livelihoods, leaders, and institutions that mutually benefit people, wildlife and Kenya's environment.

ACC Women's Enterprises

Enterprise & Livelihoods

Increasing economic opportunities, particularly for women, is imperative to building sustainable conservation practices and more equitable societies. Our programs help communities develop conservation-related enterprises that improve livelihoods.

ACC Enterprise & Livelihood

Women's Enterprises

When local Maasai women are economically-empowered, the environment is better managed, human wildlife conflict is reduced, and community members’ livelihoods are improved. ACC economically-empowers Maasai women living in Kenya’s four rich biodiverse landscapes areas: Amboseli, Laikipia and Maasai Mara. ACC’s programs help these communities develop conservation-related enterprises that improve livelihoods. Businesses such as beading, beekeeping and milk cooperatives allow women to support themselves, gain new skills and connections, contribute to sustainable development and become respected leaders. ACC & ACC-US celebrate these women who have overcome cultural barriers and become beacons of hope for their pastoral communities.


Livestock & Land Management

Livestock keeping is the main source of livelihood for Maasai pastoral communities. The economic activity compliments conservation efforts because pastoralists know how to harmoniously coexist with wildlife. We donate to the communities, exotic Sahiwal cattle that are best known for high milk production, resistant to heat, drought, tick bites, internal and external parasites and can reproduce for 20 years. We help pastoralists improve their livelihoods through better breeding, husbandry and market outlets, while maintaining traditional efficient grazing strategies, rehabilitating grasslands, and establishing grass banks that enable communities to cope through droughts.


Game Scouts

In collaboration with Big Life, ACC supports 10 Community Game Scouts who protect threatened wildlife species from poaching. ACC trains and equips the game scouts to monitor wildlife movement and collect data along the Amboseli-Kilimanjaro ecosystem. The scouts also engage in community outreach, offering educational programs that create awareness in the importance of conserving wildlife and the environment.

ACC Conservation through Art; Youth Environmental Education

Leadership Development & Education

ACC is helping to build the next generation of East African conservationists through teacher and student education outreach, international learning exchanges among universities and pastoral communities, and through the preservation and celebration of Maasai Cultural Heritage.

ACC Youth Environmental Education - Olcani Project with Deborah Ross

Conservation Education Outreach

ACC’s Conservation Education program compliments the academic curriculum by empowering school children to identify their role in conservation and take action on issues affecting their environment and communities. Through the training of 2,000 teachers in Amboseli, ACC aims to raise the next generation of East African conservationists. The teachers organize regular tours for the children to visit national parks, learn more about wildlife species and the environment, and make the connection between ecotourism, conservation livelihoods, and community wellbeing.


Learning Exchanges

ACC brings together conservation leaders, communities, funders, scientists, and governmental organizations to develop conservation practices and policies that work on the ground and are modelable around the world. Our collaborators include Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (US), Miami University’s Earth Expeditions (US) , and The Shan Shui Conservation Center (China).


Maasai Cultural Heritage

The Maasai have coexisted with wildlife for centuries. Their traditional way of moving with their livestock reduces land degradation and permanent settlements, providing a landscape in which both people and wildlife can thrive. With their culture at a crossroads and their traditions disappearing, ACC supports the South Rift Association of Landowners (SORALO) in their operation of the Maasai Heritage Program which mobilizes communities in Kenya to revive and celebrate their common heritage through annual cultural festivals, a cultural heritage center and museum, cultural exchanges and tourism.


Institution Building & Conservation Networks

Overview of Building and Supporting Community Conservation Institutions to go here


Amboseli Conservation Program (ACP)

Need description here of how ACC helped ACP form. ACP Site here.

Amboseli Ecosystem Trust

Amboseli Ecosystem Trust (AET)

Need description here of how ACC helped AET form. AET Source here.


South Rift Association of Landowners (SORALO)

Need description here of how ACC helped SORALO form. Source here. 

Photo © Tom Hill
Photo © Tom Hill

Twala Tenabo Cultural Manyatta

Need description here of how ACC helped Twala form.  Twala Source here.    Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project here 

Maasai & Conservation

The survival of Kenya’s amazing wildlife and the tourism that goes along with it are inextricably tied to Maasai culture.

The Maasai have coexisted with wildlife for centuries. Their traditional pastoral way of moving with their livestock prevents land degradation and permanent settlements, providing a landscape in which both people and wildlife can thrive. However, pressures from drought, political and cultural changes, land development, population growth and demand for resources are disrupting the Maasai way of life and this long-standing relationship with nature. The result is that communities may lose access to their land, water, wildlife resources and aspects of their culture.

Dr. David Western’s keynote address at Oregon State University’s symposium, “The Future of Pastoralism in an Era of Rapid Change” on April 27, 2016 — Oregon, US