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Eastern Africa

Equator Initiative Case Study - Mohéli Marine Park

Between 1998 and 2005, the Comoros island of Mohéli was the setting for an initiative that brought together international organizations and local communities in creating a co-managed marine protected area. The idea was to conserve 404 square kilometres of ocean, home to key marine species such as the coelacanth, humpback whales, dugong and dolphin, while benefiting local livelihoods through ecotourism.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Mara River Water Users Association (MRWUA)

The Mara River Water Users Association (MRWUA) is a community-based water resources management organization. The primary objectives of MRWUA are to promote the protection and conservation of the Mara Catchment area, support the sustainable and efficient use of water, assist relevant authorities with water resources management and issuance of water use permits, and water conflict resolution.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Kwetu Training Centre for Sustainable Development

Kwetu Training Centre is based in Kenya’s coastal district of Kilifi where it uses a model demonstration site and extensive youth group engagement to promote sustainable environmental management of the coast’s mangrove forests. This has involved voluntary reforestation efforts and development of silviculture based around the mangrove ecosystems, such as crab farming, bee keeping and ecotourism. To this end, the centre has recently constructed a boardwalk through the local mangrove forests.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Kipsaina Crane and Wetlands Conservation Group

This community-based organization has worked since 1990 to conserve wetlands and biodiversity in and around Saiwa Swamp National Park, home to approximately 25 per cent of Kenya’s vulnerable Grey Crowned Crane population. During the 1980s eucalyptus cultivation resulted in drainage of the swamp and damage to habitats.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO)

Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO) has worked with rural communities on the Kikuyu Escarpment in Kenya since 1996, with a primary focus on forest conservation and reforestation in response to human pressures on the escarpment’s forests. The organization has evolved beyond this initial focus, however, into a flexible delivery mechanism for donor-funded interventions and a powerful vehicle for holistic local development.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

This Maasai group ranch in the central Kenyan district of Laikipia has established an 8,645-hectare community-conserved area that balances the needs of local pastoralists with wildlife conservation and the operation of a lucrative eco-lodge. One of the pioneering and most successful of Kenya’s Maasai-owned ecotourism initiatives, Il Ngwesi has served as a model for replication across the country. Its sanctuary rangers ensure a high level of security for the conserved area, which has played a key role in a network of connected wildlife protected areas and corridors in central Kenya.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Honey Care Africa

Honey Care Africa is a social enterprise that strives to raise incomes for rural Kenyan farmers through apiculture. Taking advantage of a tradition of beekeeping as a supplementary source of food and cash income for Kenyan farmers, the enterprise has sought to improve the productivity and viability of this sustainable livelihood activity as an alternative to poaching, timber-felling, and charcoal burning for many of the country’s poorest rural communities.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Shinyanga Soil Conservation Programme (HASHI)

The Shinyanga Soil Conservation Programme, better known by its Swahili acronym HASHI (Hifadhi Ardhi Shinyanga) ran from 1986 to 2004, with the aim of restoring the degraded Shinyanga region of northwest Tanzania. Christened the “Desert of Tanzania” in the mid-1980s by President Julius Nyerere, the region’s miombo woodland had been decimated by decades of forest clearing (partly for tsetse fly eradication) and forced resettlement under Tanzania’s “villagisation” programme.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Guassa-Menz Community Conserved Area

For over 400 years, the grasslands in the Guassa area of Menz in Ethiopia’s central highlands were governed under a communal management system known as Qero. In this system, elected headmen determined when and for how long local people could harvest thatch grass and graze their livestock. Following the 1974 revolution and the collapse of the Qero system due to agrarian reform, the Guassa area suffered from year-round exploitation of the grasslands and subsequent degradation.

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