The People, Lions and Environment; WASIMA Campaign

Susan McConnell
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Grantee Landscape and Conservation Mentors Organization
Type Human-wildlife Coexistence
Location Tanzania
Grant Amount $74,820
Duration 2 years

Landscape and Conservation Mentors Organization (LCMO) is a small, grass-roots conservation organization that runs the WASIMA campaign: a multi-pronged campaign that engages local community commitment to stop illegal lion killings in South Western Tanzania. A key element of this campaign is to establish village by-laws to outlaw the ritual hunting of lions by young Sukuma men. Sukuma is the largest nomadic agro-pastoral ethnic group in Tanzania that tends to settle around protected areas. Sukuma lion killers visit households and leverage traditional rewards (cattle, shoats and/ or cash) as well as payments from their clansmen for the service of ridding the area of dangerous predators. Lion killing has transformed into a wealth-generating activity, attracting young Sukuma men to wanting to get easy wealth, as lion warriors, increasing risk for lions within and outside protected areas in the landscape. LRF provided LCMO with funding to expand their work to establish by-laws in more villages and to continue their efforts to educate local people about the need to protect lions. In early 2021, LRF provided a third grant to LCMO to allow support continuation of their work.