Placing an economic value on natural resources is something conservationists are increasingly asked to do. Amboseli is one of Kenya's most popular National Parks, so understanding the economic contribution the wildlife and cultural aspects bring to the local economy is fundamental for highlighting the future of conservation amidst development plans for the ecosystem.
In late 2018 we partnered with Amboseli Ecosystem Trust (AET) to conduct an ecosystem-wide survey to quantify these economic benefits. We provided logistical & other support while Big Life Foundation helped fund the report. AET was initially established to oversee the implementation of the Amboseli Ecosystem Management Plan, which is renewed every ten years. AET has grown far beyond this role, and now acts as the principal bridge between conservation organisations, local government and the Maasai community on issues regarding land use and development.
This survey was an ambitious undertaking, since Amboseli's wildlife has catalysed many different sectors. NGOs, hotels, camps, and research organizations were all approached to share their financial data for 2017-2018. In order to make sure everyone was comfortable sharing sensitive data, we hired external consultant to conduct the analysis. Although we didn't manage to get full coverage, most organizations responded positively, giving us pretty good coverage of most to the ecosystem. The results were clear: The presence of wildlife in Amboseli is drawing in substantial investment and employment, with the vast majority of staff coming from the local communities. This report demonstrates the importance of wildlife for the local employment and economy, and tax revenues for Kenya.
For Amboseli to have a future we need sustainable growth and communities must continue to benefit from the wildlife that shares their land. Reports like this quantify these issues for decision making and development planning, and we hope further reports will be produced in future. We thank everyone who participated in producing this first economic benefits report.
If you would like to know more about Amboseli Ecosystem Trust please visit the AET website
To view the report click on this link