African Parks’ vision is to have 20 parks under management by 2020. With 11 parks under current management, extensive efforts are being made to grow our portfolio and bring in new parks. When considering a park for inclusion into the African Parks portfolio, we follow three broad criteria that include ecological, socio-political and financial aspects, with the ultimate goal of receiving the mandate for delegated management authority from the Government.
Shaba National Reserve and Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Kenya
Park size: 370 km2
African Parks to assess the potential of assuming management of Shaba and Buffalo Springs National Reserves in Kenya. In 2016, we continued this assessment and negotiations with Kenyan authorities to secure a mandate to manage these two iconic wildlife reserves in partnership with the Isiolo County Government (ICG). These areas are comprised of rich volcanic soils with resident populations of elephant, endangered Grevy’s zebra, rare reticulated giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah and hyaena. In February, Governor H. E. Godana Doyo and the County Speaker Honourable Muhamed Tupi from ICG visited Majete in Malawi to see the African Parks model and solidify their view of us as a credible partner in conservation management. While Governor Doyo worked with ICG to secure approval from the County Assembly and Cabinet, African Parks was asked to submit an Expression of Interest through a public call for proposals which was submitted in June. A sub-grant from USAID through NRT was also approved for US$460,117 over a four-year period. There was local resistance to ICG efforts to conclude an agreement with African Parks, which was largely politically motivated by the opposition, but comprehensive stakeholder engagement was conducted with good effect and in September we were informed that the ICG were ready to conclude the agreement. However, discussions and a site visit were postponed to 2017, at which time a signed agreement should be reached.