For this project, WEP worked in partnership with senior international researchers in the field of ecology, law and anthropology from The French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) with help from the county government and the indigenous Rendille community. This was in order to observe the important interactions of the indigenous Rendille people and their environment. The project took place in Karare ward in Marsabit County. The area was identified by WEP because of its close proximity to the Mt. Marsabit National Park.
As part of the project, Focus group discussions were held in Karare with the local community and local authorities as the target group. The aim of the focus group was to discuss the opportunities of a different approach to land governance and usage. The approach discussed was that of the land based COMMONS approach. An approach that is resource centered and is focused on equitable access to the existing resources by all the users of a particular area. Users in this case take into account both human and non-humans i.e. the local community, neighboring communities, wildlife, flora and fauna.
In order to get a more practical view of the situation, WEP and Cirad set up camera traps in important areas of both human and wildlife use. The areas were identified by WEP with help from the local youth morans (warriors) from Karare. The camera traps were set up in 3 locations of heavy human – wildlife interactions. One was set up in the forested areas, another in the grazing areas and another in the paths to the water points.
Both WEP and the participants got a better understanding of the local territory and the importance of the different users of resources in their landscape. The participants’ interest in the land-based COMMONS approach as a way to manage the available resources was peaked. However, they all agree that they would like to see a more concrete implementation on their territory.
In Conclusion, the project delivered a key understanding of the dynamics of the human-wildlife interactions in the region. In a small area, there was heavy by both herders and wild animals of the resources available hence it will serve as a reference for future projects in the area.
WEP was tasked with identifying key representatives from the local indigenous Rendille Community as well as leading the discussions between the participants and the organizers. The representatives represented the elders, local government, women and youth.