Basics of Environmental Easement
Kenya is renowned for its national parks and the abundance and diversity of wildlife; however, Kenya’s protected areas are too small and fragmented to maintain viable populations of wildlife species. It is now recognized that the survival of most wildlife in Kenya depends on access to land outside government protected areas. These areas are becoming increasingly fragmented and degraded due to change in land use and human population pressure. We believe that to secure Kenya’s ecological integrity and to maintain viable populations of wildlife, land outside protected areas must be conserved through innovative conservation measures such as environmental easements, which not only protect land, but provides benefits to the landowners.
What is an environmental easement?
An environmental easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and another party or organization that restricts certain uses on a property to protect its natural resources for a specific period of time, usually into perpetuity. Environmental easements protect land for future generations while allowing owners to retain certain private property rights and to live on and use their land.
Private land owners possess distinct legal rights, such as the right to farm, develop, sustainable use of forests and water resources. These property rights can be thought of as a “bundle of rights.” Any of these property rights can be transferred to another party for the benefit of wildlife or nature conservation. For example, a landowner can choose to transfer, voluntarily or for a fee, the right to develop his/her land, and still reserve the right to undertake other activities on his/her land.
If you have any questions or concerns about easements, please don’t hesitate to contact the following:
Director, Land Conservation
African Wildlife Foundation
or get in touch with
Kenya Land Conservation Trust