Disparities in wildlife resource governance and implications for environmental management in commercial and communal ranches of Laikipia District, Kenya
Olukoye, Godfrey A.
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Laikipia rangelands of Kenya are endowed with diverse natural resources that support both livestock and wildlife enterprises. Laikipia district is, therefore, home to several commercial and communal ranches. However, disparities in wildlife resource governance in these two categories of ranches have serious implications for environmental management. Such disparities have led to the "perceived" mismanagement of resources in communal ranches with concomitant environmental degradation in, for example, Mukogodo pastoral rangelands. On the other hand, the commercial ranches have a "perceived" appropriate management system with environmental conservation and upgrading as its yardsticks. However, one question that still remains unanswered is whether the perceived mismanagement in communal ranches is the making of the Laikipia pastoralists. This paper sets out to answer this question and discusses the ecological and socio-economic causes of disparities in wildlife resource governance in communal and commercial ranches. It is concluded that a level playing field for the two categories of ranches coupled with local capacity building are essential ingredients towards a comprehensive wildlife resource governance and resource use conflict resolution in Laikipia Rangelands of Kenya.