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Thursday, April 20 • 14:45 - 16:15
[Session 1] Inspiring and empowering local communities to conserve lions in northern Kenya | [Session 2] Elephants, ethnicities, war and peace: exploring conservation through the “desert elephants” of Mali FILLING

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2:45-3:15 PM Inspiring and empowering local communities to conserve lions in northern Kenya
Shivani Bhalla

Ewaso Lions conserves Kenya’s lions and other large carnivores by promoting co-existence between people and wildlife. We firmly believe that the success of lion conservation hinges on the involvement of the local people who live alongside lions. In this talk, I will discuss the decline in the lion population across Africa before focusing on the unique conservation and research methods Ewaso Lions uses to promote human-carnivore coexistence, reduce human-lion conflict, and ensure a future for Kenya’s lions. Learn how, as a result of engaging local people, lions have started to make a comeback in the community areas where Ewaso Lions operates.   
I will present details on how we have engaged a previously neglected demographic – warriors - in conservation, a first in northern Kenya. Through this flagship programme, Warrior Watch, we have not only been able to significantly improve local attitudes and tolerance towards large carnivores and prevent lions being killed on hundreds of occasions, but also contributed towards the social and political empowerment the warrior demographic.
I will go on to talk about how our Mama Simba (“Mother of lions”) programme has given marginalized Samburu women a voice in conservation; equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to reduce their environmental impact and effectively conserve and coexist with wildlife, whilst also supporting local livelihoods.
Both Warrior Watch and Mama Simba epitomize community-driven conservation. They are hopeful stories of empowerment and success and how it all contributes to a safer place for lions. 
I will end my talk with an overview of our Lion Kids Camps – a story of inspiration and how we work with children across the region, encouraging them to become the conservation leaders of tomorrow.

Projector, Clicker, Speakers (for video sound), portable microphone.

3:15 - 4:15 PM Elephants, ethnicities, war and peace: exploring conservation through the “desert elephants” of Mali
Susan Canney

The iconic and enigmatic desert-adapted elephants of Mali live alongside multiple ethnicities in a vast arid landscape in the centre of Mali just south of Timbuktu. The harsh nature of their environment means they make the longest annual migration of any elephant population to find the resources they need, ranging over an area of over 32,000km2 (larger than Belgium and one and a half times the size of Wales!). In 2007 it became clear that the elephants would only survive the challenges of increased human impact if elephant conservation was the result of the day-to-day decisions made by local people for their own benefit.
The Mali Elephant Project developed a model of community engagement, empowerment, and stabilisation based on natural resource management that improves local livelihoods and protects elephants. It includes all sectors of the community including providing employment for youth and empowering women in income generating activities based on regenerative natural resource management.
The resilience of the model has been demonstrated by having survived five years of lawlessness, rebellion and Islamic insurgency; while at the same time straddling international trafficking routes coupled with a resurgent ivory trade.
This session will use the story of the Mali Elephant Project as an entry-point to tease out the key ingredients for conservation success and failure, with a particular focus on the different perspectives of local, national and international actors.

Projector, Remote control, Speakers, portable microphone

avatar for Shivani Bhalla

Shivani Bhalla

Executive Director, Ewaso Lions
I am a fourth generation Kenyan who believes the key to lion conservation is working in partnership with local communities. I founded the Ewaso Lions Project in 2007 and am based in Westgate Community Conservancy, where I work with Samburu communities to reduce livestock loss to carnivores... Read More →
avatar for Susan Canney

Susan Canney

Director, Mali Elephant Project
I currently direct the Mali Elephant Project, having worked on a variety of nature conservation projects in Africa, Asia and Europe, and as a research officer at the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy & Understanding. I am particularly interested in using systems perspectives... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 14:45 - 16:15 BST
Informatics Suite 1 The Laboratory, First Floor