A number of new development have taken place since the July report on measures to address the threats. The most important is the launch of funding for the Amboseli Ecosystem Management Plan. After a year and a half of delays, a four-year grant from the Global Environmental Facility has been released to KWS, African Conservation Centre, Big Life and Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. Each organization will take on specific tasks, aimed at restoring the health of the Amboseli ecosystem. ACC will help build the capacity of the Amboseli Ecosystem Trust to oversee the implementation of the plan.
Preliminary steps to restore the loss of habitat, pasture and biodiversity were undertaken by ACC, ACP, KWS, Big Life under the umbrella of AET in series of woodland elephant exclosures and pasture restoration plots over the last year. The start-up funds were provided by NAGA. Additional funds are provided under the GEF program. Plans are underway through the partnership headed up by AET to submit a renewed grant application to NAGA for setting up a long-term ecosystem restoration program.
Big Life has taken a lead in tackling the depredations of elephants on small-scale farms on the slopes of Kilimanjaro and swamps to the east of Amboseli. Assisted by Space for Giants, Big Life has drawn up a fencing plan to protect the line of farms from elephant attacks. The 37 kilometer fence should block elephants from reaching the growing farming communities to the south and east of Amboseli, areas they rarely used before farmers moved in. Most elephants moved north and west of Amboseli with the rains. These areas remain lightly occupied and, could, with the restoration of seasonal dams, restore elephants to their former range.
To address the broader human-wildlife conflict, the main NGOs tackling conflict, including Lion Guardians, Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Big Life, International Fund for Animal Welfare, ACC and ACP will be meeting under the umbrella of the Amboseli Ecosystem Trust and KWS on December 8th to set-up an integrated conflict mitigation strategy and procedures.