Beekeeping is an important initiative at the Chyulu Hill’s REDD+ Project, offering a diversified livelihood opportunity in honey production for local community members living in the project zone. Through bee-keeping, the project has developed a sustainable mechanism that provides an economic incentive for communities to commit to their conservation efforts, whilst generating revenue from the sale of their honey.
The Sustainable Menstrual Solutions pilot project is gaining steam as it expands across the Rombo Group ranch, creating interest from other communities across the project zone. Education continues to be supported through the awarding of hundreds of bursaries, distribution of school supplies and hiring of new teachers. As wildfires continue to risk the forest, community and wildlife in the project area, the partners continue to implement pro- active mitigation approaches. The project is in the final step of the verification process; new VCUs will be ready for purchase soon.
One of the most important achievements has been the allocation of emergency funds towards a fire management strategy with an arsenal of new equipment and ranger training that the area had not been able to afford in past years. Through allocation of the emergency grants, partners managed to achieve efficient coordination and allocation of the available resources and enable effective force deployment in the event of an emergency.
The Chyulu Hills REDD+ benefits have been shared across the community, allowing for the expansion of a beekeeping enterprise, the construction of a new ranger station, the distribution of hundreds of new bursaries and the establishment of a girl’s healthcare education program. Whilst the project zone has been challenged by an increasing threat of forest fires, new partnerships with adjacent NGOs has resulted in an integrated fire management and response plan. The pandemic continues to limit community engagement and has resulted in an uptick in human-wildlife conflicts.
The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) employs a dedicated team of 18 Maasai warriors (Moran), who day in and day out monitor GPS-collared lions and other wildlife species in the Chyulu Hills. Data collected is analyzed and used to gauge various aspects of different wildlife species like their eating habits and the prey selection of lions. The monitoring is also a very significant measure to mitigating human-wildlife conflict within the local Maasai communities.
During the first half of 2021, support for key project initiatives continued despite challenges posed by pandemic restrictions. Support includes funding the Rangers program to maintain patrolling, collecting data and securing operations; supporting livelihood development by issuing and delivering new beehives; disbursing bursaries and scholarships for students in the Rombo and Eastern communities; and making significant investments in a critical fire management plan ahead of the dry season, providing firefighting training to over 300 Rangers (200 community and 100 Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers).
Ongoing implementation of initiatives structured to safeguard forested ecosystems and critical wildlife have been the main focus of this past quarter. The project has issued and delivered new equipment and supplies, and advanced key activities under the project’s collaborative and transparent benefit sharing model. The second verification is fully underway, with biomass sampling and biodiversity analyses taking place during the quarter.
This past quarter has been focused on the ongoing implementation of critical forest and wildlife protection initiatives and community programs in education and conservation. Other significant activities include the issuance and delivery of new equipment and supplies and a vehicle to enhance the progress of project related activities. The project continued to apply its collaborative and transparent benefit sharing model to design a holistic suite of project activities alongside the local communities.
The first quarter has seen an uninterrupted continuation of critical forest and wildlife protection activities, community programs in education, and capacity building for local community board members. Recent carbon sales have provided much-needed financial resources that the project has effectively utilized to activate its vision of landowner-led, community-driven conservation. The project’s comprehensive strategy, and the solid institutional capacity now in place, are providing a new source of stability and resilience to the landscape and communities, starting the project on a path toward durable long term success.
This past quarter has focused on the development and implementation of an upgraded Social Benefit Impact Assessment monitoring system and community- led consultations to identify priority needs and the application of a collaborative and transparent benefit sharing model to design a full suite of project activities to be undertaken with Gucci funds.