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The ‘State of Mara Conservancies’ Report

Dear MMWCA members, partners, and friends,

On July 5th, we had the pleasure of welcoming over 100 of you to our headquarters in Aitong for our 6th Annual General Meeting. Throughout the day, I was inspired by the stories of success told from across our beloved ecosystem. With that in mind, it is my pleasure to share our inaugural State of Conservancies report with those of you who were with us in spirit.

This report showcases just how much impact joining together under a single mission – to conserve the Greater Maasai Mara for the benefit of wildlife and people – can have in a short period of time.

Despite our achievements, there is much more to be done, and I look forward to working with you.

Ashe Oleng!

Daniel Sopia



“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahtama Gandhi

Kenya has made significant strides to ensure that perpetrators of wildlife crimes in the country are met with tough, harsh penalties as laid down in the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013 (WCMA).

The legislation which came into force in January 2014 put the threshold of evidence admissible in a court of law high considering the marching penalties. The need to effectively prosecute cases of animals poaching, trophy trade and trafficking continues as offenders continue to engage in unlawful activities and trade.

Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) in partnership with the USAID PREPARED Program trained 159 rangers drawn from 12 conservancies in the Greater Mara Ecosystem on how to use  the WILD App to collect data on wildlife sightings, illegal activities, conduct patrols and report findings on a daily basis. MMWCA recognizes that first responders to wildlife crime mostly from local communities, are rangers or people with inadequate capacity to handle scene of crimes without distorting evidence.

“The training will help equip rangers with necessary skills needed to effectively collect evidence that can be used to link offenders, prosecute and punish those found culpable of wildlife crimes. These are geared towards comprehensive protection of Kenya’s national heritage.” Notes Stephen Kisotu – Technical Manager, MMWCA.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in collaboration with Space for Giants and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) have come together to increase the number of specialized prosecutors to 14 from the current two.‎

Several shortcomings identified by the MMWCA have become apparent to the manner first responders handle their law enforcement mandate. These include:

–     Contamination of evidence due to poor handling and preservation.

–     Unpreparedness of the first responders in courts of Law.

–     Limited knowledge of the provisions of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013

–     Lack of Crime Scene Management Skills

–     Drafting of defective charges

–     Lack of knowledge on DNA Analysis and its role in investigation to prosecution

Way Forward?

MMWCA in partnership with AFEW have embarked on a project “Building capacity of community conservancies’ rangers’ for effective management of wildlife crime scenes in the Greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem, Narok County Kenya.” The project hopes to train wildlife rangers drawn from the established 14 conservancies on crime scene management and preservation of evidence admissible in a court of law.

Poachers have gone to great lengths to hire best legal expertise available in a bid to defeat criminal liability. Defenders of wildlife have one option, to go higher and come out strongly and one of these ways will be to take forensic science seriously and build capacity across board to deter wildlife offenders.

Follow the training online: Twitter @contactMMWCA, Facebook @MaraConservancies, and

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT – Chief Operations Officer


PO Box 984- 20500, Narok Kenya.

M: +254 (0)715 047047 /777 047047




The Position:               Chief Operations Officer

Job Location:             Narok County


The Organization


The Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) is a membership organization of all the Mara conservancies, open to any existing or upcoming wildlife conservancy whose land is part of or integral to the greater Maasai Mara ecosystem.  MMWCA is a Regional Association of the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA):  one of 12 regional associations across Kenya that collectively play a key role in the growth and development of conservancies nationally.

MMWCA has three primary objectives: –


  1. To provide a convening space for open discussions; a hub for knowledge sharing and coordination across conservancies; a voice for advocacy; and driving policy in the interest of conservancies and conservation related issues across the Mara.
  2. Support the creation and development of conservancies and their neighboring areas across the greater Mara ecosystem, as a sustainable form of land-use and to provide mechanisms for equitable and value-based benefit sharing to sustain land under conservation.
  3. Lead and/or implement development and conservation programmes across member conservancies to facilitate coordination, collaboration and synergetic action.


The Role


Reporting to the CEO, the Chief Operations Officer will be responsible for:

  1. Day-to-day execution of MMWCA Strategy-Mission, Vision and Core values;
  2. Leadership and mentoring of diverse technical teams (governance, peace, livelihoods, security, natural resources, wildlife and enterprise), and matrix management to ensure coordinated technical support across the team and the conservancies;
  3. Leadership and oversight of the annual plans, budgets and reporting of all operating units;
  4. Leadership and motivation of all staff, including staff performance management and professional development;
  5. Oversight of MMWCA institutional policies (HR, logistics, procurement, IT, office administration, and transport management etc);
  6. Oversight of MMWCA infrastructure development;
  7. Coordination of working relationships with partner organizations to support Conservancies, and management of partner/donor visits;
  8. Coordination of MMWCA’s support to improving Conservancies’ field operations, staff and board capacity, governance and technical programmes;
  9. Oversight over the management of MMWCA’s Monitoring and Evaluation system, from data collection to analysis and visualization, feedback and reporting;
  10. Oversight over the development of effective internal and external communications and media relations.

The Person

We are looking for a special blend of deep, practical field-operational experience combined with multi-sectoral technical capacity, and an ability to operate with sensitivity and diplomacy in a remote environment.

Based at MMWCA’s HQ in Narok town, the Chief Operations Officer will have:

  1. Over 10 years’ experience in practical operations management across a broad geography;
  2. A strong technical background in areas related to community-conservation;
  3. Proven organizational leadership skills in managing people, programmes and assets;
  4. Experience within complex organizations requiring matrix management of technical and geographical teams across the landscape;
  5. Demonstrated experience in managing HR, procurement, admin and logistics of a team;
  6. Knowledge of a working environment involving government, donors, NGOs and social enterprise;
  7. A personal style that inspires trust, team work, professionalism, cooperation and passion for MMWCA’s mission;
  8. Strategic thinking in a complex governance environment;
  9. Excellent writing and communication skills, and ability to develop effective relationships
  10. Swahili language skills an advantage;
  11. A passion for community-led conservation and development in wilderness areas.

Minimum qualifications

  1. At least a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration, Humanities, Finance or related field
  2. Seven to 10 years of business management experience across a range of organizational disciplines;
  3. Qualified or possesses requisite experience in HR frameworks, financial management, marketing and operations;
  4. Strong human capital management knowledge;
  5. Excellent people skills, with an ability to partner with a dynamic leadership team;
  6. Financial reporting capabilities including budgeting and cash flow management;
  7. Strong process and planning orientation
  8. Has leadership and management abilities to oversee the organization

How to Apply

Please send your application with a detailed CV, highlighting relevant experience, a daytime telephone contact, email address, and contacts of three professional referees to reach us through by 5.00pm on Wednesday 25th October 2017.


Introducing our new CEO; Daniel Ole Sopia

The Executive Board of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) has made a change to the leadership team at MMWCA Secretariat. Daniel Ole Sopia has been appointed CEO of MMWCA effective 1st October 2017. Daniel will be responsible for leading MMWCA to the next level, building on the solid foundation and momentum achieved by the MMWCA team.

Daniel has vast experience in conservation, establishment of conservancies and in-depth knowledge of community engagement especially in the Mara and tourism in Kenya. He has done a remarkable job with MMWCA’s formation, firstly as the Chairperson of the Conservancies Council prior to joining the Secretariat as Chief Programs Officer.  Now that the critical formation phase of both MMWCA and Conservancies is nearly complete, he will be moving on to work on strengthening the legal and leadership governance of the conservancies, sustainable revenue generating streams and increasing value for land under conservation.

We would like to thank Daniel for the significant contribution he’s made in setting the right tone, energy and structure at MMWCA, and for being a key driver in strengthening conservancies’ management and coordination of key stakeholders in the Greater Mara Ecosystem over the past couple of years.

We would like to welcome Daniel as he takes the helm as CEO of MMWCA. He will be responsible for working with the team to deliver on the plans we have been discussing over the past several years – to conserve the Greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem through a network of protected areas, for the prosperity of all – biodiversity and wildlife, the local population, and recreation and tourism for the nation of Kenya.

Daniel is an accomplished leader in conservation, with a track record of working with local communities to protect Kenya’s diverse ecosystems. He brings a great mix of leadership, inspiration, and passion for conservation. He serves on the Board of Greater Mara Trust/Greater Mara Management Limited as well as the Board of the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association representing the Maasai Mara region. Daniel is a Silver-rated Professional Tour Guide who left active tour guiding to help set up Olare Motorogi Community Conservancy Trust in Maasai Mara.  He co-steered Olare Motorogi Conservancy as a Director from 2006 to 2008, a Trustee and as a Community Development Manager until 2013. He has also served in the capacities of Board Member for Olare Motorogi Conservancy and Vice Chair of Olpurkel Company Limited, the Management Company managing the Olare Motorogi conservancy. Congratulations Daniel. We are indeed honoured to find someone that has such a perfect set of skills for this opportunity.

Finally, we would like to thank our partners for continued support as we charge ahead to ensuring the Maasai Mara is a cultural landscape where communities and partners secure wildlife and sustainable livelihoods for a better future.


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