The Kasigau Corridor REDD project

The Kasigau Corridor REDD project

Project background

Species of focus: 



Approximately 200,000 ha of forest between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks through which over 500 African elephants migrate seasonally.

Summary description: 

The Kasigau Corridor REDD project in southeastern Kenya is designed to bring direct financing for carbon emissions reduction to communities while securing the wildlife migration corridor between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks through which over 500 African elephants migrate seasonally. Additional project goals are to enhance carbon stocks, create alternative livelihoods for people in the surrounding areas to remove pressure on the forest, and maintain the high conservation values of the project area.

The Kasigau project is the first carbon project to use a wildlife premium mechanism (in this case embedded in to a carbon payment) to earn validation from the most widely accepted carbon standard protocols. Since 2010, income from the sale of carbon credits has been managed by a private company, Wildlife Works Carbon (WWC), which uses the funds to provide direct carbon payments to local landowners and support local projects it designs and operates. These funds have been used to subsidise a clothing factory employing local women, construct and operate several community-based plant nurseries, construct schools, and maintain a cadre of unarmed wildlife rangers to patrol the project area. Some of the staff hired by the carbon project are trained rangers who collect wildlife data and evidence of poaching and illegal harvesting of forest products during patrols. These data will form the basis for the monitoring reporting and verification necessary for performance based payments to be disbursed. The cost of active antipoaching efforts (e.g., rangers, patrol vehicles) is estimated at $500,000/year for 200,000 ha (i.e., $2.50/ha/year).

Land management type: 

State managed land outside protected area

Product(s) in trade: 

Types of poachers: 

Project implementation

Is the project implemented by an external party? 


Implementing organisation: 

Wildlife Works Carbon - a private organisation.

Name of funding organisation(s): 

Income is generated from the sale of carbon credits.

Community organisation(s) involved: 

Not specified.

Was the project established specifically to engage communities in combatting IWT? 


Year the IWT project or component started 


Project status is currently: 

Community engagement

Approach taken to community engagement and its rationale: 

Community members are provided with livelihood alternatives in lieu of wildlife use
Community members benefit from development projects (e.g. infrastructure development such as health or education facilities) as a conservation incentive
Community members receive payments for conservation performance/services


Wildlife Works Carbon (who operates the project) sell credits and retains 1/3 of carbon revenues for core project operating costs. Another 1/3 of the carbon revenues are paid to some 4,500 community landowners for the right to run the REDD project on their forested lands. The REDD project has added over 350 jobs to the local economy.


Roughly 1/3 of the revenue generated from carbon credits funds community projects that support some 150,000 community members. This has included, for example, the construction of 20 classrooms near the corridor area. Community projects are funded quarterly in five locational development committees (LDCs) (which each represent some 20,000 - 30,000 people). In the first five years, community members through the LDCs have decided that 80 % of the funds available will be used to support water projects and 20 % will be used for educational projects.
Revenues from the project are additionally supporting the position of a Kenyan PhD biologist to oversee the monitoring program for both social and ecological results.

The community engagement project is: 

Stand alone initiative

What “rules of engagement” for working with communities does the case study address? 

Ensure wildlife generate benefits, both tangible and intangible, for local people

What has been the impact on poaching/IWT? 

Don’t know/Case study/project has not assessed impact on poaching

What has been the impact on wildlife populations? 

Not known/not documented
Lessons learned about engaging communities

What worked about the community engagement approach and why? 

Not specified.

What did not work and why? 

In Kasigau, Wildlife Works Carbon (WCC) incorporates input from communities into the design of their activities, but they control implementation. The project is under great pressure from local communities and from cattle grazers within and outside the local community due to area-wide droughts that are reportedly increasing in frequency and severity. How effectively this pilot project is able to counter these pressures will be a test of the utility of the approach.

Case study information is up to date as of: 

Bibliographic information

Main source(s) of information: 

Published documentation


Enhancing Conservation, Ecosystem Services, and Local Livelihoods through a Wildlife Premium Mechanism


Dinerstein E et al

Year of publication: 


Journal/Book/Series details: 

Conservation Biology


Case study entry information

This case study entry compiled by: 

Francesca Booker

Date of case study entry: 

Tuesday, 6 September, 2016