Conservation and ecotourism on privatised land in the Mara, Kenya. The case of conservancy land leases

October 2012
LDPI Working Paper 9 (Claire Bedelian)

Investigates private sector investment in conservation and ecotourism through conservancy land leases in the Mara region of Kenya. In recent and growing tourism development, groups of Maasai landowners are leasing their parcels of land to tourism investors and forming wildlife conservancies. Examines this model and the implications it has for Maasai livelihoods and the environment. Given the large extent and recent change in ownership in these areas, land leases do however keep the lands they cover together and are potentially an optimistic outlook for such open rangeland areas. Consideration however must be given to adjacent areas and communities that may face the negative knock on effects of such schemes. Within the Mara, land leases have been rapidly expanded upon, implying that similar schemes might be of interest to both investors and communities alike in other wildlife areas.