Let's Partner with the Maasai
Updated: Feb 22
The Maasai are the "locals" who have lived in Kenya and Tanzania for many centuries. Unfortunately, to many Maasai the implementation of wildlife conservation has been a grave hardship as the traditionally held Maasai territory is lost to the national and private game parks. When that happens, there is no suitable place for the Maasai cattle, sheep and goats to graze which is their primary food source and also of major importance culturally. Effective and sustainable wildlife conservation requires long term cooperation with the Maasai. In fact, since it is the Maasai who know the land and its animals the best (at least from a historically perspective) conservation efforts can be most promising if the Maasai are directly involved in managing it or at least embrace it. In return, government and private conservation groups can make proper and coordinated plans to assure that there is traditionally held land in both quantity and quality that remains available for the Maasai livestock to graze and for the people to thrive. If the Maasai are displaced they will only grow more hostile to conservation efforts which, in turn, will undermine efforts to preserve the ecosystem and wildlife. Effective wildlife conservation in Kenya and Tanzania can only succeed in the long term if the Maasai are equal partners.
Charitable organizations that are working to support both wildlife conservation and promote the Maasai include the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT), World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), and Maasai Wilderness Conservation Fund