Taita conservancy has a wide range of stakeholders. From the inhabitants in the vicinity of the ASAL areas, to the relevant sub-sector management authorities, each has a crucial role to play.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)
The institution charged with wildlife resource management, and a key partner in wildlife-related tourism activities. Whereas wildlife can benefit both the ranches and KWS, there are several negative issues that can be collaboratively managed including security from wildlife; competition for pasture and water between wildlife and livestock; livestock losses; injuries to humans from wildlife; disease transmission to livestock; and destruction of infrastructure such as water pipes by wildlife.
Kenya Forest Service (KFS)
The institution charged with tree resource management and of particular interest in the management of forests in the dry lands. Its mandate also covers the maintenance or increase of tree cover and the monitoring of illegal tree harvesting activities.
The County Government
The Taita Taveta County Government recognizes Taita conservancy as an important component of the County’s future development and is therefore taking keen interest in ensuring all the ranches are revived and adopt good management practice. The County government is therefore a crucial stakeholder in the revival of Taita conservancy. At the moment the main concern by the County Government is rehabilitation of the ranches as most of them have been badly degraded by commercial ranchers.
Ministry of Tourism
The Ministry of Tourism is an important stakeholder in the diversification process for the ranch. Apart from ranching, tourism offers good potential for ranch income if well harnessed. The Ministry is a crucial stakeholder in capacity building in tourism and sourcing for investors in tourism for the ranch.
Ministry of Livestock Production (MoLD)
The MoLD’s Livestock Production Department is mandated with livestock production and is responsible for provision of technical advice on range management and livestock production including government policies and current thinking in the sector. Wildlife Works Carbon LLC
Wildlife Works is a REDD+ project development and management company. It is currently managing the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ project on behalf of the indigenous community groups of landowners, who are the owners of the Carbon Credits derived from the project. Taita conservancy is one of the landowners in the project. To benefit fully from the Carbon Credits, landowners are required to meet certain land use thresholds like maintaining a healthy vegetation cover.
Charcoal and fuel wood merchants
Their need for trees for charcoal production and fuel wood, results in range land degradation from erosion resulting from reduced tree cover. There has been selective cutting of tree species ideal for charcoal production and particularly Acacia species. Charcoal production in the ranch has now been eradicated with the increased patrols from ranch staff, and also patrols by Wildlife Works.
Previously, tenants would pay for grazing in a bid to fatten their stock. Lack of monitoring capacity in the ranches has often led to overstocking by these tenants leading to overgrazing and degradation. Taita conservancy has been able to terminate all such agreements and this will lead to improved conservation status for the ranch.