The northern rangelands of Kenya are home to approximately 10 million people, with pastoralism as the key source of livelihood. In the past, management of these rangelands has been under institutional arrangements which involved setting and upholding rules by customary institutions. However, these customary arrangements are changing from their traditional form into new hybrids of management in an attempt to better respond to socio-economic and ecological changes taking place in this region.
There is no substantial information on the dynamism of these institutions and how they affect the pastoralist ecosystem services and policymaking to benefit the people who depend on these rangelands for their livelihoods.
A study that evaluate the changing nature of pastoralists’ institutional arrangements in response to socio-economic and ecological changes over a period of 10 years, and assessed how these changing arrangements are contributing to value of ecosystem services benefits, shows that co-management is now a significant feature of current institutional arrangements in northern Kenya.
Three types of institutional arrangements including elders only, group ranch committees and community conservancy boards were reviewed. Results showed that management of the rangelands has changed over time and co-management is now positively influencing the economic benefits communities derive from these ecosystems and is enabling pastoralists to diversify their livelihoods as part of enhancing their resilience.
The study was carried out in Isiolo, Laikipia and Samburu.
Download a presentation based on the study here
This study was part of a PhD study by Caroline Kanyuuru, who works in the Livelihoods, Gender and Impact program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Download her thesis here