Community Involvement key to WWF programmes in Kenya

Posted on 18 February 2014  | 
Community involvement in the management of natural resources is key in conserving Kenya's rich biodiversity.
© John KabubuEnlarge
WWF Kenya has acknowledged the need to incorporate Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) principles and ensure benefits are accrued to the local people in the organization’s conservation work. Conversely, WWF as has demonstrated in previous occasions will be able to lead by example and create best practices for adoption for both state and non-state actors including peer organizations.

CBNRM will be mainstreamed into WWF Kenya programmes by adopting it as an approach to ensure that social principles are integrated across all the conservation programmes, projects and activities in line with supporting and implementing Social Development for Conservation (SD4C) activities and actions within WWF Kenya.

WWF has been working in Kenya for the last 50 years with considerable gains. These gains are recognized only by a few, as most communities and citizens relate WWF to wildlife with little to be said on social development. Increasingly, the WWF Network recognizes that social development would support conservation and hence emphasis on Social Development for Conservation (SD4C). Adopting CBNRM as a way of undertaking conservation for natural resources in Kenya is a beneficial approach for conservation and also for people’s livelihoods.

Kenya is rich in biodiversity, which is a key driver of national and local development agenda and if well managed and utilized can contribute significantly to human development and poverty reduction. Progressively, the Kenyan constitution 2010 now recognizes community participation in the management of natural resources, and access and equitable sharing of benefits from natural resources. Currently, the government is reviewing and re-aligning most of the sectoral policies and legal frameworks, creating an opportunity to ensure they adhere to the CBNRM principles. In the revision of policies of the major natural resources sectors namely; wildlife, forestry, fisheries and water and also community land, there is the letter of the law to include communities as key pillars in management.

WWF is keen to ensure that CBNRM principles are adhered to not only within the organization but externally and more specifically, with the policies and laws that affect the environment we work in; of note is the work that WWF did to ensure that community and civil society views are included in the recently passed Wildlife Act 2013.

Communities get a chance to input into the Community Land Bill 2013

By Robert Magori WWF Life Project
Community involvement in the management of natural resources is key in conserving Kenya's rich biodiversity.
© John Kabubu Enlarge

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