Performance of Community Based Conservation Projects in Kenya: A Case of LaikipiaConservation Region Conservancies


Community-based conservation (CBC) projects are essential in the promotion of biodiversity conservation and livelihood development. Despite significant financial and institutional investment, performance of CBC interventions is mixed, with shortcomings especially evident in wildlife-based CBC in Africa. The study was a convergent mixed methods design where quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed and integrated for triangulation purposes. In this study, systems theory and theory of change were adopted to help explain the performance of CBC projects. Based on circular causality, project designers provide alternative livelihood means to lessen the pressure on biodiversity. Specifically, economic outcomes were measured in terms of community empowerment; attitudinal change in terms of acceptance of wildlife conservation as an economic activity; behavioral outcomes in terms of change of behavior towards sustainable resource use; and ecological outcomes in terms of the realized biodiversity regeneration due to CBC implementation. Well-designed asset based conservation projects that put the local community at the center breeds positive outcomes for both conservation and local development. Conservation and development, although perceived as conflicting goals have been found to be mutually reinforcing.

Keywords: Community-based Conservation, Empowerment, Behavioral Change, Sustainable resource use, Attitudinal Change, Ecological Change, Biodiversity Regeneration.