Indigenous peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) are now emerging as one of the key paradigms of conservation promoted by policy makers like the IUCN, UNEP, UNDP, etc. Nevertheless, the recognition of pastoral ICCAs in Africa and particularly Kenya is practically non-existent, which is astounding given that pastoralism is a sector that directly affects hundreds of thousands of km² of natural spaces and landscapes built through millennia whilst delivering livelihoods to over 1.3 billion people and that extensive pastoralism is paradigmatic for the commons.
I consequently set to test two hypotheses: 1.- Kenyan pastoral commons exist in an abundant manner in Kenya and are key to many local populations. 2.- these pastoral commons can support important socio-ecological benefits. To do so, beyond my overview of the country, I focus in detail through fine grain ethnography, in two very different regions, one in the arid extreme North-West of the country, the Dasaanach, and the other in the humid extreme South-East of the country, the Taita.