Our History

A story of pioneering collaboration for improved livelihoods and sustainable conservation


The 1990s – Preamble

The establishment and development of wildlife conservancies in the Amboseli Ecosystem is prompted by the conservancies’ revolution that saw a deviation from the protectionist model of conserving biological resource in state-protected areas (parks and reserves) to a more adaptive conservation model.

The novel model sought to expand space for wildlife by enlisting individual and communal landowners to allocating tracts of their land for wildlife conservation and in so doing enable the community to draw economic benefits from wildlife.

Amboseli Ecosystem Trust

2004 – A Unifying Concept Is Born

The local community comes together with conservation, governmental and developmental partners in the Amboseli Ecosystem to develop an ambitious ecological blueprint that would unite the disparate environmental conservation initiatives in the ecosystem. It would tackle habitat loss, wildlife poaching, soil degradation, land fragmentation, uncoordinated development and increased poverty of the local communities.

The founding group included:

  • Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)
  • Amboseli Tsavo Group Ranches Conservation Association (ATGRCA)
  • Amboseli Conservation Programme
  • Amboseli Trust for Elephant
  • African Conservation Centre
  • African Wildlife Foundation
  • School for Field Studies (SFS)
  • Kenya Government Ministries and the then provincial administration of Oloitokitok, Kajiado District
AET Amboseli Ecosystem Trust

2008 – A Groundbreaking Plan Rises

Four years of stakeholder engagement culminates in the unveiling of the revolutionary Amboseli Ecosystem Management Plan (AEMP) 2008–18, the first ecosystem-wide management plan in Kenya.


2009 – A Homegrown Institution Is Born

With critical support from its founding partners, a homegrown, not-for-profit, umbrella institution, AET, is founded to spearhead stakeholder coordination and the execution of the groundbreaking AEMP 2008–18.

EarthWatch Maasai Mara 2018 Copyright Anthony Ochieng (116)

2015 – Strengthening Ecosystem Management

Another first as the AEMP is gazetted, becoming the first legal document stipulating the management of an ecosystem to be gazetted in Kenya.

Amboseli Ecosystem Trust

2020 and Beyond – Strengthening Ecosystem Management

AET leads the renewal of the AEMP for a further 10 years, a clear indication of the unwavering commitment to maintain habitat connectivity and safeguard the viability of the Amboseli Ecosystem.
The AEMP 2020-30 was launched by Tourism and Wildlife CS Hon Najib Balala and gazetted in January 2021.

Amboseli Ecosystem Trust

Our Leadership

A team committed to transformative and sustainable conservation of the Amboseli Ecosystem