Organization: Basecamp Explorer Foundation
Project Name: The Wildlife Tourism College of Maasai Mara
Private Sector Solutions ✓
System Change ✓
Empowerment of Individuals ✓
The Wildlife Tourism College (WTC) in Kenya’s Greater Maasai Mara region, one of the last major wildlife refuges on earth, aims to develop an innovative, sustainable, long term method of wildlife conservation which simultaneously maintains economic freedom and mobility for the Maasai people. The WTC is part of a broader initiative in the Mara region to preserve, sustain, and scale the triple-use Pardamat Conservation Area (PCA), where wildlife, livestock and people live together in harmony. The campus merges a teaching College - targeting the 80% of unemployed among Maasais from 18 to 35 years of age – paired together with an educational tourism camp for international students and volunteers where profits realized go directly to supporting the College and the community . The hoped-for success of the triple-use conservation area counts on sustainable socio-economic growth through education, employment, and for-profit tourism, all of which the area lacks significantly.
This project is an example of a non-governmental/private sector solution to a “tragedy of the commons” situation, that had resulted in a loss of biodiversity and wildlife in PCA, which is in turn linked to income loss and limited potential of economic development for the local Maasai community. Based on market mechanisms, a system is developed together with the local communities, that results in socio-economic development through participation in the tourism industry and conservation of the biodiversity and wildlife in PCA. results in socio-economic development through participation in the tourism industry and conservation of the biodiversity and wildlife in PCA.