Balancing the three-legged stool of Conservation, Economic Development, and Community Development is an enormous challenge. Increased wealth in pastoralist communities can lead to more livestock, and increased grazing pressure on fragile semi-arid lands. This leads to environmental degradation and the flight of wildlife. In turn, such degraded land is useless for tourism, which is one of few routes open to these communities for economic development.
Here, the community owns the fixed assets of the tourism business, as well as earning an income from it. Here, the community has designated livestock quotas, rotational grazing areas, and separate settlement areas – resulting in good wildlife populations in non-protected areas, and bigger stronger livestock able to better withstand perennial drought. Here, the community has invited, and entered into a contract with, Regenesis to manage its tourism business and its Conservancy for the long term. Thus, as well as investing its income in livestock, the community here is investing in education, healthcare, and animal husbandry, as well as new businesses, tourism development and conservation.
So better conservation results in more guests coming to Ol Lentille, increasing community income, education and healthcare, which in turn further encourages the community to protect and extend the conserved land for wildlife.