Can impact investments save the environment? Lessons from Kenya

ALL RIGHTS. A traditional herder from Northern Rangelands Trust community conservancies in northern Kenya.  Photo credit: Ron Geatz/© The Nature Conservancy
ALL RIGHTS. A traditional herder from Northern Rangelands Trust community conservancies in northern Kenya. Photo credit: Ron Geatz/© The Nature Conservancy

An innovative impact investment model lead by the Northern Rangeland Trust is helping traditional pastorialist communities prosper, providing funds for sustainable tourism initiatives, and reducing the risks of dangerous interactions between the herders and wildlife, both of which threaten the animals that depend on the grasslands for survival.

 In Brief 

  • “In 2008, the NRT introduced its innovative “Livestock to Markets” program. Instead of having to make the risky long trek to a buyers’ market, LTM allows herders to sell their cattle at a fair price directly to NRT in exchange for meeting agreed-upon conservation targets on their land.”
  • “By controlling much of the supply chain, NRT has also been able to invest an additional $80,000 from the sale of the cattle back into participating communities to pay for additional grassland conservation, wildlife guards, clinics, schools and ecotourism lodges.”
  • In 2014, the Nature Conservancy made a $3.5 million impact investment in northern Kenya’s conservation efforts, enabling the herders to sell 10,000 cattle a year and generate millions in income as a result.

 In Depth 

 In the Future 

Jeremy Smithhttp://www.jmcsmith.com
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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