Balancing sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity management
In Kenya, the Maasai Mara Citizen Observatory aims to improve the livelihoods of the citizens of the Mara Region and the environment. It is setting up a multi-stakeholder platform for generating and sharing of data, information and knowledge to improve policy making and implementation for sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity management in the Mara ecosystem.
The citizen observatory has an Android app and a website. The app allows citizens (local and tourists) to collect key data from the field ranging from biodiversity sightings, to human wildlife conflict locations to the updating of fences and roads. Also, the observatory app and website include details on available forage for livestock and wildlife in different conservancies at different periods of time. This is a very useful indicator for how green the conservancies are, and can help reduce human-wildlife conflict that results from, among other things, limited amount of forage. The app and the website were developed during co-design sessions with local stakeholders.
The vision of the Maasai Mara Citizen Observatory is to have a society in which all stakeholders are working together to ensure the balance between sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity management in the Mara ecosystem.