~ Daniel Ole Muli, Senior Programme Officer, Governance.
“The legal entities have enhanced a sense of ownership by making all the players relevant, and their voices count. The Legal entities have enabled conservancies to bring a balance of power between the tourism investors and the landowners. We will now embark on capacity building to ensure robust engagements to solidify the collaboration of all stakeholders.”
We have made incredible progress in building the governance infrastructure of our member conservancies. Notably, we supported 13 conservancies to register legal entities in 2023, bringing the total number of conservancies with legal entities to 18. The legal entities provide for inclusion regarding gender, landowners, and tourism partners’ representation. Therefore, we are celebrating the full establishment of 18 out of the 24 conservancies under our membership. The 18 conservancies have the requisite infrastructure to attract investors. They are already paying lease fees to the landowners (with Pardamat Conservation Area, Nyekweri Oloirien, Nyekweri Kimintet and Mbokishi Mara paying lease fees from bridge financing as they have yet to have investors). Another marker of progress is the enhanced participation of the stakeholders in conservancies’ affairs, with 13 conservancies holding their annual general meetings.
In 2024, we will focus on the capacity of the new entities to enhance compliance in an array of areas, including filing returns, conducting elections, sound financial management and aspects of stakeholders’ participation, such as the annual general meetings. We have also put plans in place to register legal entities for Mara Isinya, Enarau and Olchoro-Oirowua conservancies.