Land Trusts and direct payments as mechanisms to secure land for conservation
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Abstract: Many protected areas in Africa are too small to provide the full array of ecological requirements for key wildlife species. Consequently numerous species spend long periods of their annual seasonal cycles on neighbouring private or communal lands, which often serve as dispersal areas and/or critical migration corridors. However, the presence of these animals among poor rural communities often causes severe conflict and imposes costs that these communities can often not afford to bear. Different mechanisms are being tested in an attempt to maintain ecological connectivity and prevent the eventual loss of lands providing critical ecological function. The Tanzania Land Conservation Trust is one such mechanism for securing and managing land for conservation. The first piece of land under the Trust, a corridor linking two protected areas has been secured. A second mechanism, direct payments, is being used to secure a dispersal and corridor area in Kenya. Direct lease payments to willing farmers and pastoralists are ‘buying the right of way and use’ for wildlife. In my presentation I will describe the challenges and opportunities these two mechanisms provide as alternatives for securing conservation of ecologically important lands.