Mradi Wa Mfuko Wa Dhamana Ya Hifadhi Ya Mazingira Na Wamasai Jangwani (MWCT, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust) preserves the wilderness, wildlife, and cultural heritage of the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem – an important migration corridor between two national parks. The organization of Maasai communities has mitigated unsustainable practices such as overgrazing and water-intensive farming and introduced alternative livelihood options, including ecotourism. The community benefits from lease payments for conservancy zones, watershed protection, and the provision of ecotourism services.
An innovative program called ‘Wildlife Pays’ uses ecotourism surcharges to compensate Maasai herders on a quarterly basis for losses due to wildlife predation. The organization employs more than 100 community rangers and predator monitors, and maintains a formal partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service. Ecotourism revenues fund community health and education programs, including secondary school scholarships, teacher salaries, and clean water access. An innovative partnership model has allowed for both local livelihood improvements and extensive wildlife monitoring to improve the protection of threatened species.