Restoring nature and peace threatened by climate change: monitoring human security benefits of EbA in Kenya

Implemented by Conservation International (CI)


In the Chyulu Hills of south-eastern Kenya, this project works with indigenous Maasai communities to restore 11,000 hectares of grasslands to improve pastoral livelihoods and explore the connections between climate adaptation, ecosystem restoration and human security through evaluation of the potential of grassland restoration to reduce human-human and human-wildlife conflict driven by climate change. Accompanying the fieldwork in Kenya, the Global EbA Fund supports complementary research on conflict sensitivity and climate resilience. The project identifies climate-resilient and conflict-sensitive practices to inform the improvement of land management plans and grassland restoration, increasing the awareness and support of local NGOs, local communities, traditional local authorities, and national and international decision-makers on these linkages and practices.

Project start date: February 2022

Duration: 24 months

Cohort: 1st (April 2021 cutoff)

Award: US$250,000

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Project Status

The project has designed and implemented household surveys to understand the linkages between grassland restoration and conflict resolution, has designed and piloted a methodology to facilitate the incorporation of climate-resilient and conflict-sensitive practices in land management plans and grassland restoration, and is communicating with local NGOs, local communities, traditional local authorities, and national and international decision-makers on those linkages and practices. In sub-Saharan Africa, human-human conflicts include livestock theft, destruction of property, the killing of a person (and retaliation), theft of other property, boundary disputes, pasture access and use disputes, water access, and use disputes and disputes over property inheritance. Common human-wildlife conflicts include livestock predation, crop-raiding, property and assets destruction, people chasing, attacks on people, wildlife predation and disease transmission to livestock. This information, assessed through a literature review, was used to design the survey that was implemented in 368 households in September of 2022 (round 1) and in 400 households in March of 2023 (round 2). The results of the second round of surveys showed that 92.5% of the households interviewed experienced at least one type of human-wildlife conflict between November and March of 2023 and 98% of the total number of households interviewed implemented strategies to deal with wildlife.   

In contrast, a much lower percentage of households experienced conflicts with people outside the households (31.5%), but a high percentage of all households use strategies to mitigate the conflicts with people (88%). Compared to the first round of interviews, the second round showed a higher percentage of households experiencing conflicts with wildlife, conflicts with people outside the households, non-lethal attacks by wildlife, and damages to crops or livestock by people or wildlife. This trend in the data collected between round 1 and round 2 goes against our original hypothesis that conflicts would decrease over time as rangeland restoration is progressing. Therefore, other variables, such as rainfall and timing of restoration may be playing a role in explaining the connections between rangeland restoration and conflicts in Chyulu Hills. We are getting access to rainfall data and will conduct 2 more rounds of surveys to get a more complete picture of the findings. Household surveys will be complemented by focal group discussions to identify the long-term linkages between conflicts and rangeland condition, the importance of rangeland degradation in driving conflicts, the impacts of conflicts and the perceived changes in conflict through time.  As most of the household leads in Kenya are men, and therefore most of the perceptions acquired from the household surveys are from men, the focal group discussions will be a way to also capture the perceptions of women and youth regarding the topics above. 

Header Image: © Charlie Shoemaker; Footer Image: © UNEP

photography of mountains under cloudy skies

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