The Amboseli Noonkotiak Resource Program
The Amboseli Noonkotiak Centre brings together the functions of AET at a central place, and acts as an information and coordination hub.
An intensive research work began around 1967 when Dr. David Western studied the ecology of the Maasai Amboseli National Reserve to address a deep conflict over its status and future. Conservationists, insistent that overgrazing was destroying Amboseli’s famous fever tree woodland and its wildlife, were pressing the government to create a national park and exclude the Maasai.
Recognizing the role of pastoralists in the ecosystem, Western studied the interplay of livestock and wildlife, and showed the importance of seasonal migrations and the drought refuges of the Amboseli basin in sustaining their abundance and coexistence. Based on these findings, he proposed that the Maasai should establish a small core park nested within a larger ecosystem that sustained the migrations and the coexistence of people and wildlife.
Over the years, research in Amboseli Ecosystem have been revolving around the work of the world renowned conservationist Dr. David Western and other scientist with interest in Amboseli ecosystem. Based on his previous work experience with Amboseli communities both in research and conservation Dr. Western helped in the establishment of Lale’enok resource centre in Orkiramatian through African Conservation Centre (ACC).
The African Conservation Centre (ACC), Amboseli Conservation Program (ACP) with the Amboseli Ecosystem Trust (AET) are currently working together to set up the Lale’enok Resource Centre in Amboseli with conservation research and planning in mind. The centre is named after the traditional Maasai scouts who gather information vital to the welfare of their families and herds. The Lale’enok Resource centre in the Amboseli Ecosystem forms the hub where communities, scientists and conservationists come together to gather and share information pertaining to natural resource management. It provides the physical location for the coordination of information gathering and dissemination, and makes collaboration easy.
It also provides the local communities with the tools for information generation and exchange and allows for innovative and valuable forms of local income generation, through research-based tourism activities. Run by the Olkiramatian Women’s Group Community and rooted in the traditional coexistence between Maasai and wildlife, the centre epitomizes the value of the growing number of conservancies that have enabled the increase and conservation of biodiversity. The conservancies also double as traditional grass banks that cut livestock losses in drought, promote rotational grazing and ease competition between wildlife and livestock. In the recent past Amboseli Landowners set aside 100 Acres piece of land for the project.