Nashulai Maasai Conservancy, the first indigenous-owned and managed conservancies in East Africa has received a prestigious award from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for its dedication to environmental conservation.
Nashulai Maasai Conservancy is one of the three recipients of the 2020 Equator Prize in Africa and among the 10 globally to be recognised.
The award is given to communities that have made tremendous contributions to environmental protection. The announcement coincided with the commemoration of World Environment Day observed every June 5.
“Among the first indigenous-owned and managed conservancies in East Africa, Kenya’s Nashulai is a 2.4k ha protected area that forms a critical ecological corridor in the Maasai Mara and promotes community economic development,” Tweeted Equator Initiative.
The community combines indigenous ecological knowledge with cutting-edge science, local Maasai communities are also engaged in economic development and cultural programming, so humans, livestock, and wildlife all prosper in harmony.
“Profits from ecotourism have been used to build two schools, increased access to clean water, and supported entrepreneurship and leadership training for women, who hold half of the leadership positions.”
Dickson Kaelo, CEO of the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association, says: “Nashulai is the missing link in the puzzle… the most critical connecting corridor for elephants, lions and other migrating Mara Serengeti wildlife.”
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Vie Sauvage was honoured for pioneering a holistic model for community development, conservation, and peace-building, helping create and manage a 4,875 square kilometer reserve for the bonobo (a great ape), and other endangered species.
On the other hand, four communities in central Madagascar came together to form the community-based organization Tatamo Miray an’Andranobe (TAMIA). to restore the lake’s water level and quality, remove invasive aquatic species and repopulate fish stocks.
Each Equator Prize winner will receive US$10,000 and will be supported to participate in a series of policy dialogues and special events during the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress.
This year, the winners were selected from a pool of 583 nominations from more than 120 countries by an independent technical advisory committee of internationally renowned experts.