AbstractsPolitical Science

The Political Ecology of Community Conservation in northern Kenya: A Case Study of the Meibae Community Wildlife Conservancy

by Craig Parkinson

Institution: University of Toronto
Year: 2012
Keywords: political ecology; community conservation; Kenya
Record ID: 1940527
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/33488


The majority of Kenya’s wildlife exists outside the network of national parks and reserves, predominantly in private and community-owned lands. Although works must be acknowledged for having explored the community conservation approach, the body of research examining how Kenya’s wildlife conservation approach is being negotiated by local stakeholders and incorporated into local livelihood strategies is limited. Based on a case study of the Meibae Community Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya, this study examines the motivations of local and non-local groups to pursue wildlife conservation. Viewed through a political ecology lens, this paper analyzes how local people moderate the influence of external conservation values and interests. Findings suggest that local people adopt wildlife conservation projects to access better systems of rangeland management, pursue strategic linkages with external stakeholders and develop basic industries. I conclude that this process represents how Samburu pastoralists strategically embrace externally driven wildlife conservation efforts in self-defining ways.