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Kenya Ranger at Ivory Burning
On April 30, 2016, Kenya burned 105 tons of elephant ivory and rhino horns, the largest such burn to date. USAID is working closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to respond to these threats and scale up Kenya’s efforts to combat wildlife crime.
Eric Onyiego / USAID Kenya and East Africa


Kenya is globally recognized for its rich biodiversity and iconic landscapes.  Kenya’s economy and its citizen's livelihoods depend on their natural resources and nature-based tourism.  Climate variability has led to significant economic losses and food insecurity. Other factors such as wildlife crime, urban expansion, and rapid population growth are threatening conservation efforts.

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Counter Wildlife Trafficking

USAID works with local and international partners, including the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), U.S. Department of Interior, and Save the Elephants, to counter wildlife trafficking.  Our programs enhance wildlife management, address wildlife trafficking, and enforce and prosecute wildlife crimes. We also provide Kenyan scientists with research grants to explore innovative ways to protect animals and prosecute wildlife crimes.

In collaboration with the U.S. National Academies of Science and the U.S. Global Development Lab, USAID supports research grants for Kenyan scientists to explore innovative, multi-disciplinary ways to strengthen wildlife management and the prosecution of wildlife crimes.

Biodiversity Conservation

USAID and KWS pioneered the community conservancy model in Kenya.  Communities play a key role in both the protection and conservation of wildlife.  Local communities are best positioned to support on-the-ground anti-poaching efforts.  This approach protects wildlife, expands economic opportunities, and enhances the ability of people and land to withstand climate variability and shocks.  An innovative partnership with the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) benefits 630,000 people in 35 community conservancies.  This partnership is creating space for 65% of wildlife living outside Kenya’s parks and reserves.  Our work with NRT is also developing community resilience strategies.  

Clean Energy and Climate Change Adaptation

Transitioning to a low emissions economy is a key component of Kenya’s Vision 2030.  We are working with the Government of Kenya to implement the National Climate Change Action Plan.  Kenya is a flagship country for the U.S. Government’s Enhancing Capacity for Low Emissions Development Strategies (EC-LEDS).  This program accelerates economic growth while slowing greenhouse gas emissions.


Overview: Environment

Countering Wildlife Crime

Activity Fact Sheets

Community Conservancy Policy Support and Implementation Program
The Nature Conservancy and Kenya Wildlife Conservancy Association

Community Conservancies Seed Grant Program in Maasai Mara
The Nature Conservancy and Maasai Mara Conservation Association

Inter-agency Agreement to Support Wildlife Conservation and Combat Wildlife Crime
U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) 

Kenya Wildlife Protection and Conservation Program
Kenya Wildlife Service

Resilient Community Conservancies Program
Northern Rangelands Trust

SERVIR Eastern Africa
Regional Centre For Mapping Resource For Development

Water Towers Climate Change Resilience Program
U.S. Forest Service


Beads Turn Kenyan Women into Entrepreneurs – and Conservationists

How Smartphones Are Helping Save Kenya's Elephant Population


You can access our current and past newsletters here.

Last updated: January 07, 2020

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