Communities & Conservation

Communities & Conservation

ACC's community conservation efforts focus on land use, ecosystem health, and livelihoods. Our programs build local capacity and create grassroots models of effective locally-led ecosystem conservation in Kenyan rangelands.


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.

Women's Enterprises

When women are economically-empowered, the environment is better managed, human wildlife conflict is reduced, and the livelihoods of fellow community members are improved.

Our programs economically-empower Maasai women living in Kenya’s four rich biodiverse landscapes areas: Amboseli, Laikipia and Maasai Mara. ACC’s helps these communities develop conservation-related enterprises such as beading, beekeeping and milk cooperatives which allow women to support themselves, gain new skills and connections, contribute to sustainable development and become respected leaders. We celebrate these women who have overcome cultural barriers and become beacons of hope for their pastoral communities.

Naropil Milk Cooperative in Amboseli
Photo © Peadar Brehony

Game Scouts

Game Scouts protect threatened wildlife and are often the first line of defense against poachers. ACC has helped to establish Game Scout programs in collaboration with SORALO, the Borderlands Conservation Initiative, and Big Life.

ACC supports [10] Community Game Scouts by training and equiping them to monitor wildlife movement, collect ecological data, and resolve human-wildlife conflicts. The scouts also engage in community outreach, offering educational programs including tours, biodiversity interpretations, and campaigns that create awareness in the importance of conserving wildlife and the environment. Game Scout programs are proving to be effective deterrents to poaching – particularly in Shompole, Magadi, Nguruman, Loita and Naibunga Conservancies.

Conservation Education Outreach

We are nurturing the next generation of East African conservationists, by investing in the teacher training and children's education.

Our Conservation Education programs compliment 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.

ACC Conservation through Art; Youth Environmental Education
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

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.


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 model-able around the world. ACC has partnered with Miami University's Earth Expeditions (US), along with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and the South Rift Association of Landowners (SORALO) to advance community-based conservation in Kenya's South Rift Valley.


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. [pull info from existing page linked below]

ACC Maasai Navajo Cultural Exchange

Cultural Exchanges

Navajo - Maasai Exchange:

ACC has also conducted learning exchanges with the Shan Shui Conservation Center (China).

[create blog posts of these programs to link to on this site]

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