Northern Rangelands Trust

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"In the 1980s, poaching had reduced Kenya’s rhino population from around 20,000 animals in 1960 to less than 500. Recognising the urgent need for protected space, the conservationist Anna Merz approached the Craig family, who had a cattle ranch in the savannah to the north of Mt Kenya. They agreed to set aside 2,000 hectares for the project, and later transformed the entire Lewa ranch (62,000 ha) into a private wildlife conservancy.

"As wildlife numbers in Lewa Conservancy flourished, it became clear that for conservation to work long term it needed to involve and benefit the pastoralist communities in the surrounding areas.

"The idea of setting up a community conservancy emerged in 1995, after a meeting between Ian Craig of Lewa and the local community of Il Ngwesi to the north.

"Il Ngwesi and Namunyak were the first two community conservancies to be established in northern Kenya. Before long, they were transforming the way the land was managed and the welfare of pastoralists. Their success attracted the attention of other communities, who sought advice from Lewa on how to establish their own conservancies.

"In 2004, Francis Ole Kaparo, speaker of Kenya’s National Assembly and chair of Lewa’s Board of Trustees, suggested it was time to set up a new organisation to provide guidance, training and fundraising support for the growing number of communities interested in conservation. Thus, the Northern Rangelands Trust was born.

"Today, NRT and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy are separate entities. NRT is the umbrella organisation for community conservancies. Lewa is simply an individual wildlife conservancy, and itself has been transferred into the ownership and control of a Kenyan Trust. But the two organisations still benefit from a close working relationship. NRT’s headquarters are at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Lewa plays a key role in providing logistical support to NRT. From this base, a joint operations centre enables NRT and local security teams to share information with the Kenya Police and Kenya Wildlife Service on wildlife poaching and livestock theft, and to operate under the guidance of these Government bodies." [1]

"The NRT Board is accountable to an over-arching Council of Elders, which is comprised of the elected chairpersons of all the member conservancies. The Council of Elders is currently chaired by Said Rova (Lower Tana Delta Conservancy), and vice chaired by Andrew Nasobo Dokhole (Melako Conservancy)." [2]


Board(2021) [3]

Member Cllr. Golicha Jarso; Member Mr. Stefano Cheli; Member Mr. Ian Craig