Lale’enok Resource Centre
A World-Class Community Conservation Resource Centre
Located near Ngurumani in Olkiramatian group ranch, the Lale’enok (South Rift) Resource Centre is a product of collaboration between the South Rift Association of Landowners (SORALO) and the African Conservation Centre (ACC) and is owned and operated by the Olkiramatian Reto Women’s Group. Lale’enok grew rapidly from a small campsite in 2006 to a permanent centre with a communal meeting hall and two office buildings, complete with solar power and satellite internet. Lale’enok provides a base for all research in the region, and the strong link between research, community interests and human-wildlife coexistence has caught the attention of biological expeditions such as Earth Watch, National Geographic and PBS, and zoo and university groups such as Earth Expeditions, Smithsonian Research Institute and McGill University. New ideas for the centre continue to emerge out of growing links between researchers and the community.
Photos © Peadar Brehony & Guy Western
The development of this resource centre has purposely followed an evolutionary approach to exploring and developing research for conservation, ecotourism and development. The step-by-step approach draws communities into research, rather than delivers research to them from scientists. The goal of community-based research is to foster an appreciation of research, a demand for information and the skills and institutions needed to collect and evaluate data reliably.
An important starting point was the collection of existing knowledge of the area, its wildlife, people, resources and time-tested production and survival strategies of pastoral societies. This helped build interest and confidence and emphasize the importance of sharing and testing knowledge. Lale’enok also provides income opportunities for community members including jobs with game scouts, research programs, and businesses tied to crafts/beadwork, nature-based products and ecotourism.
To learn more about Lale'enok's programs, please visit their website.