What you need to know:
- Communities play a huge role in averting the climate crisis through protection of biodiversity.
- But realising collective success depends on the individual drive of people keen to make a change.
The just-concluded climate talks in Egypt centred on loss and damage, which refer to the consequences of climate change that go beyond what people can adapt to, or when options exist but a community does not have the resources to access or utilise them.
Communities play a huge role in averting the climate crisis through protection of biodiversity. But realising collective success depends on the individual drive of people keen to make a change.
In this regard, Veronica Shaga is one of the people who have committed to preventing climate-related disasters. She is a ranger at Nasaru-Olosho conservancy in Kajiado East, Kajiado County.
Her work goes beyond preventing human-wildlife conflict and poaching, to educating the communities surrounding the conservancy about the importance of maintaining tree cover in the ecosystem.
“The locals here are very receptive. Unlike before, they are now at the forefront of speaking against cutting down trees for burning charcoal or firewood and this is very encouraging,” she says.
She says although her Maasai community holds conservative views of women taking up the ranger’s role, she has proved that they can indeed do it.
“I had just finished my course in human resource management when I heard about the opportunity from the officials of the conservancy’s management committee,” says Ms Shaga, who comes from the Nasaru area.
“I told myself I can do this. I come from this area. I’d love to give back to my community through my work.”
She applied and the committee recruited her. Later, the conservancy trained her in wildlife management and conserving the environment on which the wild animals depend.
Come December, she will click 20 months since she started serving as a ranger in the conservancy. Whenever she meets critics who question her decision to work in a conservancy, she explains the benefits of her job.
“This job has positively impacted my life. I earn a salary and I’m able to provide for myself and my two-year-old son. I can also support my parents. That would not be happening if I had not taken this job,” she says.
Her work is challenging though. “The conservancy is vast and doing the patrols during the day and at night on foot is very challenging,” she says.