The diffusion of innovations in conservation: an investigation into the adoption of Northern Rangelands Trust community conservancies in Kenya.

Authors: Zara Ahmad*, N/A, Morena Mills , Imperial College London
Topics: Environmental Science
Keywords: Northern Rangelands Trust, Community Based Natural Resource Management , Diffusion of Innovation Theory
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 11
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


While conservation initiatives are widespread, many are unable to reach a scale at which they can provide lasting tangible benefits for biodiversity and people. Technical and financial support should be prioritized to those initiatives that have the capacity to reach scale. The Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) theory can provide a valuable way to investigate the characteristics of scalable conservation interventions. Northern Rangelands Trust community conservancies are a community-based conservation intervention that has rapidly scaled across Kenya over the last three decades. The adoption of NRT community conservancies in Kenya presents an ideal case study to explore the drivers behind the wide scale adoption of community-based conservation interventions. An understanding of these drivers can help conservation practitioners and policy makers direct time and money towards interventions that can generate lasting positive change. This research found that drivers related to the innovation and context characteristics of the DOI theory were most influential in explaining the adoption of NRT community conservancies. Moreover, the importance of these drivers has changed throughout the course of the conservancy movement. The study examines the implications of these findings for the adoption of community-based conservation interventions more widely and suggests improvements upon the methods for future research.

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