Amboseli National Park; downgrading to a game reserve, Kenya

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Amboseli National Park is an Important Bird Area, with over 400 bird species recorded, including over 40 birds of prey including Vulnerable Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni which uses the site during its migration period. Wildlife tourism is one of Kenyas main sources of foreign revenue, and Amboseli brings in about $3.3m a year from park fees and related tourist activities. This money helps administer Amboseli and other National Parks in Kenya. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> On the 28th September 2005, the President of Kenya directed that Amboseli National Park become a National Reserve. This meant that the management of the park was removed from the Kenya Wildlife Service and placed under Olkejuado County Council. This move, having come ahead of Kenyas first Constitutional Referendum in 2005, was seen as an attempt to get Maasai Community to support the new constitution. <br/><br/> But supporters say handing over management of the park to the local council authorities will allow the Maasai to benefit from Amboselis revenue as it corrects what they say was the theft of Amboseli 31 years ago, when the land was taken away from the Maasai people who had lived on it for generations. <br/><br/> Many civil societies and wildlife experts opposed the move terming it illegal. They filed two cases in the High Court of Kenya: first, to challenge the governments decision to degazette the park without following due process of the law and, secondly, to set an injunction on the decision so that Amboseli would maintain national park status until the case was determined. <br/><br/> In September 2010, there was a victory for Amboseli after the High Court of Kenya reversed the order and found the move to de-gazette the Park illegal. <br/><br/> Organizations against the de-gazettement of the National Park argued that they recognized the importance of encouraging the involvement of local communities in wildlife conservation and the need for communities to benefit the resources. However, downgrading the National Park to a National Reserve is not necessary the best way to achieve this objective. <br/><br/> Instead, revenue sharing and community participation in the development of management plans can contribute to the success of a 21st Century National Park. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Amboseli National Park; downgrading to a game reserve, Kenya</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/kenya">Kenya</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Rift Valley Province</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Kajiado District</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biodiversity conservation conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Establishment of reserves/national parks</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><br /><a href='/commodity/biological-resources'>Biological resources</a><br /><a href='/commodity/tourism-services'>Tourism services</a><br /><a href='/commodity/land'>Land</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">The Kenya Government proposed to degazette Amboseli National Park to a national reserve. The President asked the Minister for Tourism and Wildlife to publish Legal Notice 120 in the Kenya Gazettement Supplement No. 20, declaring that Amboseli National Park would henceforth become a National Reserve. <br/><br/></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>39200</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>35-38 million Kenyans</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>28/09/2005</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Office of the President;, Kenya Wildlife Service;, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Nature Kenya;, BirdLife Africa Secretariat;, Born Free Foundation Kenya;, East African Wild Life Society;, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust;, Youth for Conservation;, East Africa Environmental Network;, Kenya Tourism Federation</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LOW (some local organising)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>PREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Pastoralists<br /> Local scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Stopped</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>New legislation<br /> Project cancelled</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Yes</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>The High Court quashed the order by President Mwai Kibaki saying the move was illegal and could not pass the test of the new constitution. From another perspective, the step by the Kenya government to allow a local council to run Amboseli, was a step in the right direction. By downgrading Amboseli National Park to a game reserve, the government tried to give the Maasais a chance to manage wildlife as a resource. But this was a move viewed by many to be part of political power games. However, the Maasai have a right to own, manage and enjoy the fruits of their land. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, 2010;<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Wildlife (Conservation and Management) Act of 1976 ; <br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA) of 1999; <br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Environmental Policy;<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> The Local Government Act, Cap 265.<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Africa News<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Birdlife<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> African Executive<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Serah Munguti</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/04/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>