n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Wildlife-community conflicts in conservation areas in Kenya

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


Kenya is rich in biological diversity to which wildlife resources contribute a significant proportion. Many of the regions with abundant and diverse wildlife communities remaining in East Africa are occupied by pastoralists. Recent studies show that the majority of the local people around protected areas have negative feelings about state policies and conservation programmes. The alienation of grazing land for the exclusive use of wildlife and tourists has a very direct impact upon the pastoralist communities, and prompts them to raise questions about African wildlife policy - as if it leads to a 'people versus animals' conflict. Nevertheless, large areas of pastoral rangelands have been expropriated for exclusive wildlife conservation use. This has commonly been justified by the argument that pastoralists overstock, overgraze and damage their range while wild animals are seen as existing in harmony with their surroundings. Wildlife-human conflicts, therefore, are a consequence of the problem of resource utilisation in conservation areas. Such conflicts do not solve this problem, however, but adversely affect the biodiversity. They harm people and property, and lead to the retaliatory killing of wildlife in 82% of the protected areas. This paper reviews literature that seeks to address the important issue of wildlife-human conflicts and also explores the aspects of pastoralism and conservation in Kenya.

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