How NRT works

The Northern Rangelands Trust is a community led, non-governmental organisation that was set up in 2004 in northern Kenya by a coalition of local leaders, politicians and conservation interests. Its mission is to develop resilient community conservancies, which transform people’s lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources.

NRT is a community conservancy membership organisation. The 35 member conservancies work across 4.5 million hectares of northern and coastal Kenya. With support from principal donors USAID, The Nature Conservancy, DANIDA, and AFD, and many smaller donors, NRT is supporting and empowering communities to develop locally-led governance structures, run peace and security programmes, take the lead in natural resource management, and manage sustainable businesses linked to conservation. The community conservancies are starting to have a significant impact on building peace, improving lives and managing the rangelands, and their success has helped shape new government regulations on establishing, registering and managing community conservancies in Kenya.

NRT is governed by a Board of Directors, currently chaired by Hon. Mohamed Elmi MP and vice chaired by Dr Hassan Wario, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts. The NRT Board includes institutional membership from KWS, KFS, three pioneering private conservancies, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Interior. NRT is accountable to an over-arching Council of Elders, which is comprised of the elected chairpersons of all the member conservancies. The Council of Elders is currently chaired by David Lekoomet (Kalama Conservancy), and vice chaired by Omar Godana (Nasuulu Conservancy).  NRT is guided and overseen by the NRT Council of Elders, which also includes institutional membership from KWS, County Governments and other local partners and agencies.

NRT supports it members in a number of ways:

  • It raises funds for the conservancies
  • It provides them with advice on how to manage their affairs
  • It supports a wide range of training and helps broker agreements between conservancies and investors
  • It monitors performance, providing donors with a degree of oversight and quality assurance.

NRT is now widely seen as a model of how to support community conservancies. Its success has helped shape new government regulations on establishing, registering and managing community conservancies in Kenya.

Find out more about NRT and our work by reading our FAQs.

There are now four regional NRT hubs:

The main NRT headquarters is in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and this also serves as the base for the NRT Centre conservancies. NRT Coast and North Rift are semi-autonomous, with their own headquarters, boards and management teams.

Click here to see our organogram.

With thanks to our principal donors for their core programme support.