Located between two national parks, Tsavo West and Tsavo East, the Kasigau Corridor REDD Project Phase I – Rukinga Sanctuary is an example of how community and conservation can coexist. The project protects wildlife and over 2,000 square kilometers of dry forest, while preventing the emission of almost 3 million tonnes of CO2e over 20 years by preventing any further deforestation of the project area and surrounding landscapes.
Human-wildlife conflict has been a problem in this area in the past, as local communities have relied on flora and fauna for subsistence. By bringing carbon financing to the area communities, the project offers alternative livelihoods and enables people and animals to peacefully coexist. For example, the project is implementing community-based nurseries to provide agricultural and fuelwood growing alternatives that remove the need of the local people to deforest their surrounding land.
The project also prevents the loss of spectacular biodiversity and protects the area as a contiguous wildlife migration corridor between Tsavo East and West National Parks for important indigenous species such as African elephant (Loxidonta africana), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi), African hunting dog (Lycaon pictus), Lion (Panther leo) and 50 other large mammal species. This effect extends into surrounding dryland forest.
The protection of over 500,000 acres of dryland forest maximizes the area’s biodiversity values and provides substantial co-benefits to community members. Proceeds from the project are invested back into the creation of alternative livelihoods to ensure long-term community support for the conservation of the forests and wildlife.