Since devolution of the centralised Kenyan government in 2013, NRT has been working to build partnerships and trust with the relevant county governments. Although government backing varies from county to county, overall it is starting to complement the efforts of local communities to govern their land and natural resources.
Many county governments are starting to see that investing in conservancies helps them to fulfil their mandate of providing local public services, and meeting local development priorities. In 2018, the County Governments of Baringo, Isiolo, Marsabit and Samburu passed several pieces of supportive legislation after consultations with, and lobbying by, community conservancies. These include the Marsabit County Rangelands Policy, the Isiolo Livestock Policy and the Samburu Conservancies Bill. These pieces of legislation provide a framework for County Governments to support and finance community conservancies in specific areas.
A key instrument of engagement between NRT conservancies and county government is the Conservancy Management and Community Development Plans, which are starting to link with the County Integrated Development Plans, to define community-led funding priorities for the counties. NRT also continues to provide assistance to County Governments wishing to establish their own community conservancies.