Biodiversity Conservation and Landowners: Research, Policy and Developmental Issues for Laikipia District of north-central Kenya

By Oscar Wambuguh.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With such extensive biological diversity existing outside protected areas in Africa and whose survival solely depends on the goodwill extended by private landowners; time is long overdue to actively integrate local stake-holding landowners into the decision making machinery in most conservation matters. To ensure that mutually beneficial partnerships can be developed and sustained with local landowners, it is important that appropriate, timely and inclusive conservation policies be developed to support landowner acceptance and participation in land use management decisions that, hopefully, will lead to better biodiversity conservation efforts. This paper focuses on contentious public policy and development issues that must be addressed if local stake-holders are to remain interested and become genuinely-engaged active participants in community-based conservation programs in Laikipia District, an important biodiversity conservation area in the heart of Kenya. The ideas discussed in this paper were developed after a thorough review of the existing literature in the field and by conducting interviews with 377 private landowners falling in three categories: small-scale, pastoralist and large-scale in Laikipia District of north-central Kenya. Among the important research, policy and developmental issues found critical to discussions involving biodiversity conservation in this region are: wildlife utilization legislation, wildlife proprietorship, human population stabilization, identification of core biodiversity areas, coordinated electric fencing, institutional development, biodiversity education, negotiations with landowners and incorporation of incentives, wildlife damage compensation, ecotourism development and an enabling political environment.

Keywords: Landowners, Wildlife Benefits, Development, Biodiversity Conservation

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.177-188. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.199MB).

Dr. Oscar Wambuguh

Assistant Professor, College of Science, Department of Health Sciences (Environmental Health), 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward, CA 94542, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA

Oscar Wambuguh obtained his early education at the University of Nairobi in Kenya where he graduated with BSc (Hons) degree in Biology in 1985. After two years working with Kenya Wildlife Service he returned to the University and obtained a MSc degree in Biology of Conservation in 1990. After an additional two years with KWS, he was admitted at the University of California at Berkeley where he obtained his Ph D in Natural Resources Management in 1998. Soon afterwards he joined the California State University as an assistant professor where he teaches courses in environmental health and management. He has published a number of papers in resource management and conservation. His current research interest focuses on sustainability and biodiversity conservation issues particularly in Africa.

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