Traditionally, women from wildlife conservancy communities have little voice, but given the right training, they can become incredible change agents. Leadership and management skills have been neglected yet are key factors in achieving better community and wildlife sustainability. The Leadership and Management Program is unique and has a successful record with wildlife conservancies. The project will enable 60 women to participate in the course, furthering a unique approach to conservation.
Most Kenyan wildlife lives on community land. Tourism revenues have plummeted because of Covid-19. The welfare of the communities and of the wildlife requires good leadership and management even more than before. Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai said: "You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people and help them understand that these resources are their own, and that they must protect them". Women have a unique role in addressing these issues.
The women participants are members of wildlife conservation communities. The training delivers essential leadership and management skills through a proven localized curriculum. For example, one member of a marine conservancy reported her four-fold increase in cash income through improved implementation of a mangrove forest protection project. The link between improved livelihoods and wildlife conservation is seen across different landscapes, notably by reducing incentives to poach for food.
The project will enhance the leadership and management skills of 60 women in Kenyan community conservancies. It sets community women on a path to developing sustainable social enterprises. This will translate into improved community conservancy governance, increased community income, welfare and environmental sustainability-a win-win for communities and for wildlife. There is consensus that strengthening these types of community institutions is key to wildlife conservation.