Kenyan conservancy added among 15 new sited to high bar of protected sites globally

A conservancy in Maasai Mara is among 15 new sites globally added to the International Union of Conservation and Nature Green List. This happened following its efforts in management and conservation.

Ol Kinyei Conservancy, a community conservancy in Maasai Mara ecosystem, has been added to the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved areas, bringing to three the Green List sites in Kenya, and 40 worldwide.

The recognition, according to the conservation body, is given to sites that are well managed, governed, protected and conserved areas with the aim of increasing the number of natural areas delivering long-lasting conservation results.

Sites join the IUCN Green List by achieving the standards and become certified once they demonstrate a high bar of environmental conservation.

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“Sites on the IUCN Green List are certified as being effectively managed and fairly governed, with long-term positive impact on people and nature. Every five years they are evaluated against a set of demanding criteria defined by the IUCN Green List Standard. These criteria include the quality of protection of natural values and the effectiveness of actions against threats,” IUCN stated.

The adding of Ol Kinyei brings to three the list of Green List sites in Kenya, with Lewa Wildlife and Ol Pejeta conservancies having been listed in 2014 and their status renewed in 2018.

Expert guidance

Enrolled sites benefit from expert guidance on how to improve their performance and impacts. They also become part of a network, fostering exchange and learning among conservation practitioners.

Ol Kinyei Conservancy was in 2011 and 2012 voted Community Conservancy of the Year in Ecotourism Kenya's Eco-Warrior Awards. The conservancy was formed by the community as a livestock exclusion zone to promote wildlife conservation through tourism enterprise.

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Launched in 2014, the IUCN Green List measures the effectiveness of protected areas, rewards the best sites and provides an incentive for sites around the world to improve their management.

“If we are serious about global targets for reversing biodiversity loss, we must ensure that the world’s protected areas do what they claim to do – provide much needed refuge for biodiversity. IUCN congratulates the newly-listed sites for the inspiring example they provide to protected areas the world over,” Inger Andersen, the IUCN Director General said in a statement.

Local communities

He said the sites on the IUCN Green List had reached a standard of excellence, with clear and measurable benefits for nature and local communities.

Countries such as Australia, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malaysia, Madagascar and the American State of California, have committed to nominating more sites to the IUCN Green List soon.

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Maasai MaraInternational Union of ConservationNature Green ListIUCN Green ListGlobal list