CWCT’s Strategic Plan

in partnership with The Longe Run (4Cs)

Cottar’s Wildlife Conservation Trust is committed to the long term future of Olderkesi and has a strategy in line with The Long Run’s 4C’s Plan, a membership organisation committed to driving long term sustainability encompassing Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce (4Cs) in order to maintain a healthy and productive planet.

Conservation

IMPACT:
A sustainable, well-managed conservancy that protects the ecosystems, natural biodiversity, key migratory corridors and dispersal areas of the Mara-Serengeti-Olderkesi area in perpetuity.

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This by working in a holistic manner towards the following six outcomes:

1. The Olderkesi Conservancy sustained, effectively resourced and managed thus minimising Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) in the long term

This by effectively implementing the conservancy management plan, which gives clear directives towards optimising the conservancy as a product, as well as the land use plan, which drawn out with the community utilises a zoning approach to physically separate for example urban zones where social, educational and health support are focused from wildlife or grazing zones in order to minimise HWC.

CWCT has developed a social control model of management within the conservancy zone that empowers the community to enforce their land-use plan and continues to support the process of land subdivision and allocation of official land titles to both community members and conservancy to further reinforce the boundaries of Phase 1 of the Olderkesi Conservancy.

A successful phase 1 will lead to the expansion of phase 2, 3 and 4 of the Conservancy.  Key to this is continued social, economical and health benefits from wildlife conservation to the local Maasai community who have the legal right to Olderkesi. Therefore CWCT continues to explore options on how to a) fund the lease of this land and b) benefit the community further through opportunities such as community-owned tourism entities in these zones.

2. Human and wildlife security within the conservancy increased & key partners in the wider Mara ecosystem supported

This by accommodating, training and equipping our community rangers and undercover work on the ground. CWCT acknowledges strength in cooperation and therefore shares information retrieved with key partners in the wider Mara ecosystem and looks to further this cooperation into a transboundary nature to include the full Mara (Kenya) – Serengeti (Tanzania) ecosystem in the wish to facilitate coordinated law enforcement efforts.

3. The development of a transboundary community conservancy supported to provide incentives to conserve habitat on both sides and effectively engage the communities living with wildlife

4. The impact of the conservancy management plan on critical biodiversity of the Olderkesi area and its attribution to the Mara Serengeti ecosystem to be understood, monitored and measured 

By carrying out regular species inventories with a focus on endangered, rare, endemic and keystone species with the help of our partners. To support a positive impact on the health and biodiversity of the Olderkesi Conservancy by identifying and regenerating key plants specific to supporting the above species, actively reinforcing the no grazing policy in the core conservation area and erosion mitigation. Reported impacts and changes will be communicated to the community, guests, and the scientific community.

5. Maintain and expand Cottar’s leadership role in the community-private sector- government legislative bodies both locally and internationally to bring knowledge and governance on securing biodiversity conservation

Expanding partnerships with key conservation organisations to drive coordinated conservation mechanisms in the wider area, developing a research and Information Centre in Olderkesi Conservancy HQ as a tool to raise awareness about the importance of community-private sector-other stakeholder conservation mechanisms in general and the Olderkesi Conservancy in particular and highlighting the importance of community-private sector-other stakeholder conservation mechanisms at key international flora/events and publications. Researchers actively engaged to verify the impact of conservation efforts and inform corrective actions where needed.

6. CWCT understands its environmental footprint and actively works to minimize, prevent, or mitigate negative impacts through sound environmental policies and practices

By carrying out baseline studies of resource use (e.g. water, waste, electricity) and establishing the carbon footprint of CWCT and its operations within the conservancy, reduction targets may be determined and impact regularly monitored. Environmental policies and practices should be adopted by CWCT staff and rangers through training programmes and the footprint of all projects and activities should be considered before their implementation.

Community

IMPACT:
Natural biodiversity revenue streams complement non-land based livelihood revenue to enhance the well-being and support the upliftment of the Olderkesi Maasai community.

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Working towards the following five outcomes:

1. Fair, equitable and transparent engagement with the different Olderkesi community maintained and strengthened where possible

Through regular communication and engagement with the community, further strengthened by considering the diversity of community stakeholders engaged in order to ensure women and youth representation. Develop a youth internship program for 17 – 24-year-old community members within the CWCT trust and tourism partners.

Further conflict resolution procedures with the community and carry out an annual community perception survey to be used comparatively between the years and as a mechanism for addressing negative perceptions.

2. Regular land lease payments (1st revenue stream) continuously highlight that wildlife and tourism are the best options for the sustainable development of the Olderkesi community

Continue quarterly community meetings to provide transparency on lease payments, avoid misinformation & discuss project funding needs going forward.

3. Conservation compatible economic activities (2nd revenue stream) supported through enterprise development projects 

Research and develop a strategy for a high-grade cattle project on the conservancy in order to increase income for both the conservancy and community.

Operationalize an agricultural centre with appropriate partners to maximise food security within the Maasai community and serve as a training centre to further sustainable agricultural practices within the community.

4. Natural biodiversity-based activities explored as the 4th revenue stream for the community and pursued where feasible

Explore and assess the feasibility of potential wildlife-based enterprise options such as Guinea fowl farming, Honey and Organic chickens.

5. The overall community development goals realised by supporting the Olderkesi community through better tangible benefits and choices from securing natural biodiversity

Carry out a community needs assessment to identify Key community projects to be developed, support the community to supply tourism entities with local products and services where possible, expand bursary and feeding programme by securing long term funding for small scale permaculture projects at all schools as well as developing educational and school infrastructures such as teacher training on amongst other things wildlife conservation & environmental studies, and finally support medical and health facilities within the community.

Culture

IMPACT:
Building on traditional collective benefit and control mechanism and communal governance, the Maasai community is empowered to maintain their way of life while leapfrogging into the modern 21st century economy

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Working towards the following four outcomes:

1. Awareness and pride in the Maasai way maintained while embracing the 21st century 

Document the Maasai culture and key cultural practices such as knowledge on medicinal plants and beading, in order to incorporate the pass down of traditional knowledge & ties to wildlife conservation through school education.

Leverage traditional knowledge and practices related to livestock, grass, ecosystem functions in order to strengthen ownership and promote pride within the community.

2. Traditional systems of communal governance leveraged to empower the community to effectively benefit from the Olderkesi Conservancy and its expansion

Train community members to be more self-sufficient in terms of governance in order to increase their capacity to govern the conservancy and to create strong control mechanisms and adherence to the conservancy’s rules within the community.

3. Training and skills development opportunities for the community continuously expanded to enable the community to embrace the changing environment they are part of

Develop a vocational training institute at Olpalagilagi school for tourism and wildlife management, develop skills and training of women and youth where possible, and promote sustainable grazing practices to maintain and improve rangeland and animal health.

4. Non-land based economic activities (modern ‘service’ economy, non-wildlife-based economy) explored and supported as the 3rd revenue stream to support the community to leapfrog into the 21st century

Assess opportunities for all community members whilst maintaining the outreach programme to empower women to participate in microfinance and women-owned enterprises and furthering their success by assessing the viability of current projects and exploring options.

Commerce

IMPACT:
CWCT is sustainable and financially viable effectively creating an inspiring model for conservation and community empowerment that can be replicated for others to follow

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Working on the following 4 outcomes:

1. CWCT as an organisation is self-sustaining, accountable and effectively operating

By putting in place the governance structures, administration and operational foundations of CWCT and Olderkesi conservancy, ensuring the effective and sustainable implementation of the conservancy management plan and land use plan, and by developing a long-term strategic plan and annual activity plan to ensure sustainability and resilience of CWCT

2. Long-term financial sustainability of CWCT secured through well-established and diversified funding sources

Implement CWCT’s financial & fundraising plan to support overall development goals by establishing an annual core funding from existing revenue streams and exploring potential sources of income and fundraising opportunities.

Hold regular talks to raise awareness amongst guests about CWCT and how to contribute, implement a donor fundraising strategy as well as ensuring correct governance and accountability structures are in place for donor reporting.

Report and research CWCT’s lease payment rates compared to other payment structures such as agriculture to ensure land lease rates are recognised as economically competitive. Keep agreements up to date by agreeing upon renegotiation timeframes.

3. Key stakeholders are regularly and effectively engaged

Effective internal communication channels/systems established to ensure cooperation and regular information flow between CWCT and relevant stakeholders by monthly reports, annual board meetings and meeting with other tourism partners to engage their guests and keep them up to date on conservancy work

4. Long term recognition of Olderkesi Conservancy

Submit quarterly reports on progress on title deeds, outstanding issues and recommendations in order to support 6,500 community members in receiving their title deeds.

Revised management plan submitted to meet KWS standards in order to get Olderkesi Conservancy (7000acres) gazetted and recognised by the Kenyan government.

Develop a management plan for each phase also be gazetted by the Kenyan government, and develop a long-term fundraising strategy to secure all phases.

The development of the strategic plan was further informed by the First Line of Defence Theory of Change that we helped to design (www.iucn.org/flod) This process helped us to align the Maasai land owners interests with our own - natural biodiversity conservation.

View the management plan & by-laws here