Security Dynamics in Conservancies in Kenya: The Case of Isiolo County

The community-based conservation model is an increasing phenomenon in Kenya, especially in northern pastoralist counties. In BICC Working Paper 3\2020 the author Kennedy Mkutu considers dimensions of inclusion and exclusion and subsequent conflicts around community based conservancies in Isiolo County.

Currently, conservancies occupy an area larger than all national parks and have some of the largest numbers of wildlife in Kenya. They may be privately or government-owned or, most commonly, established on areas of communally-owned land and run by a board of community representatives. Several conservancies in Kenya are set up on the land of former ranches owned by settler families who continue to be important players in the sector. The status of a conservancy has various advantages, like a wildlife conservation function which is favoured by the state and to which the state allocates armed rangers for protection. Conservancies may also provide a platform and an incentive for peacebuilding activities, but at the same time, they introduce new dimensions of exclusion and subsequent conflicts in the local society.