Livelihoods improving as a result of conservation is the essence of community conservancies. It's how and why they are working so well. As institutions, community conservancies not only give people a voice, but provide a platform for developing sustainable enterprise and livelihoods either directly or indirectly related to conservation. They do this in a number of ways:
- Conservancies are a front door for county government and NGO support
- Through NRT, conservancies can apply for the Livelihoods Fund, which is earmarked to support peace, enterprise, health, water and education programmes
- Conservancies can work with NRT Trading, created specifically to incubate businesses and develop markets for conservancies and their members.
The Livelihoods Fund
The Livelihoods Fund is one of two funding windows in the NRT Pooled Conservancy Fund (PCF), open for any NRT member conservancy to apply to. Conservancy boards make the resolve to apply, and the conservancy manager does so on behalf of their community. The PCF is supported by USAID, The Nature Conservancy, DANIDA and Tusk Trust. It is split into two categories – the Conservancy Operations Fund and the Conservancy Livelihoods Fund – conservancies may apply for either or both, depending on their needs.
NRT’s Pooled Conservancy Fund is designed to empower communities through their conservancies to prioritise, plan, fund-raise and implement their operations and their own community development programmes. This will strengthen ownership and the conservancy institutions, achieve higher impact, and build long-term sustainability.
The Livelihoods Fund is for development budgets to support community programmes that build peace, develop enterprises and livelihoods, improve access to education, health and water, improve rangelands and manage wildlife. The Livelihoods Fund is explicitly for creating incentives for membership of strong conservancies, so the criteria reflect good participation, communication and targeting of beneficiaries.