TTWCA member conservancies and potential investors gathered in a meeting to discuss ways to invest in livestock production and biodiversity conservation in conservancies/ranches. The Taita Taveta conservancies are known for their rich biodiversity both flora and fauna. The primary objective of the meeting was to explore ways in which biodiversity and livestock investments could be harnessed to benefit the county and its residents.
The meeting took place in Voi, with representatives from, all the conservancies being present as well as the Taita Taveta County Department of livestock representatives and several private investors interested in supporting the underlying efforts.
Speaking during the meeting, TTWCA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alfred Mwanake, emphasized the importance of biodiversity conservation and livestock production in promoting sustainable development. He noted that the ranches and conservancies are home to a rich and diverse ecosystem, which could be well utilized to create income-generating activities such as community tourism, carbon trading, and sustainable livestock production.
“We need to tap into the vast potential that our landscape possesses in terms of biodiversity. By doing so, we can diversify our revenue streams which in turn promote accelerated development for the benefit of the communities that own these ranches/conservancies” said Mr. Mwanake.
The meeting saw presentations from one of the leading conservation organizations, EarthAcre, who highlighted the benefits of financing the conservation of biodiversity to meet the Global Biodiversity framework 30 by 30 targets and how they are incorporating technology to mitigate climate change and biodiversity collapse and working closely with local conservation organizations which they believe have rich information for conservation. He emphasized that such investments could not only promote economic growth but also help to conserve the county’s natural resources for future generations.
The participants discussed various ideas and approaches for financing biodiversity conservation, considering factors such as economic viability, environmental impact, and community involvement. With the County Government being represented by Dr. Jaffery Jabir from the livestock department, he took the opportunity to pinpoint some of the opportunities available within livestock production that the ranches can partake in through TTWCA. He highlighted the lucrative opportunity to take part in the export market while optimizing the local one, due to the high demand for beef with the evident potential of the ranches.
“Already Taita Taveta Ranches have been in livestock production for quite some time now, there is room for the ranches to reach the export market when we unify our efforts and put in place some interventions such as; developing ISO Certified slaughterhouses and feedlots for prime beef production. This will be the leading way to access the export market which ultimately results in increased revenue” said Dr. Jabir
Members present explored challenges facing investments in the county, and most specifically in the conservancies, which included; inadequate funding and the need for better frameworks. They acknowledged the need for conservancies to come together and work as one unit with the County government coming in to support them to explore the livestock enterprise and acute consideration of financing biodiversity conservation that would promote their growth.
From the participants’ remarks, it was clear that the meeting provided a crucial platform for stakeholders to discuss and explore ways of harnessing the potential of investments by Conservancies and communities in Taita Taveta County. It is hoped that the ideas and recommendations generated during the meeting will be implemented to promote sustainable development and conservation in the county. More so, they recognized that financing biodiversity conservation was not only the right thing to do for the planet but also a business decision that could generate long-term benefits for the world.