Monthly Archives: October 2010

Luangwa River Valley in Zambia

By Mike Korchinsky, founder of Wildlife Works. Oct 28 2010

I went to the Luangwa River Valley in Zambia last week…these photos were taken by the owner during the wet season…I was there at the end of the dry season…can you say CARBON…

This is what it looks like dry:

and finally, the threat:

The Rukinga Community

July 10, 2010: by Joyce Hu, Creative Director for Wildlife Works Retail:

Lara drove us around to see more of the surrounding communities (which makes up about 45,000 people) who directly or indirectly benefit from our business and social programs.

This is a community library made possible by the leadership of a couple Peace Corps volunteers, Amanda and Kate.

Now, they just need money to build then sustain some after school programs. Before this library, the kids had nowhere to go after school to study, commune, seek support in an educational environment. They would just loiter around and get in different kinds of trouble. The school district this library serves has a lot of AIDS orphans. 7% of Kenya’s population is living with HIV AIDS. Crazy. There are many programs to help diminish the shame around the disease, the first step in slowing down the spread of it.

Next, we went to visit Mama Mercy who started a women’s group 8 years ago called Imani. She is the most enterprising woman in the area. She’s never been paid for what she’s doing, which is to create a community for the women to learn, gather resources and support each other for various needs. Without it, many women would not have access to health education, community funding resources and many daughters would be sold to prostitution.

Their immediate needs are – listed in priority:

- $1250 left to raise in order to build a water tank to catch the water run off from the tin roof during raining season. one rain can produce enough water for them for about a month.
- get the orphans within the group to secondary school (primary school was recently made free)
- subsidize secondary school for children who can’t afford to go
- many many more from here

Next, we went into Maungu, the nearest tiny town with market stalls to pick up veggies for dinner.

Joyce number 2, as everyone started calling her (which makes me Joyce 3), invited me to visit her home to meet her mother, 2 daughters and her brother’s daughter who she adopted.

Joyce owns a kiosk and an attached cafe in the local town of Maungu (5.000 ish people, possibly up to 10k – government will not release census). She is part of a finance trust from which she took a loan to build her business.  She has only one more month before it’s all paid off. She just started full time with us. With all this, she can support a family of 4 (mother, 3 daughters) all by herself. Her mother owns the plot of land that they live on (looked about 20 square meters). They also own a larger piece of land in another location on which they grow and sell maize during the raining season. Her mom also gets about $20 per month in pension.

She applied for a job at Wildlife Works because she wanted a more steady income so she can budget. Smart woman!

Joyce's home

Wildlife Works Factory

July 10, 2010: by Joyce Hu, Creative Director for Wildlife Works Retail:

I started today working with the factory manager, Daniel, to develop the patterns I want to launch with this winter. I briefly met the women working in the factory – there are about 10 right now. They are busy with a big order for ASOS in London.

The factory has produced product for many of the big eco fashion labels such as Loomstate and EDUN. White label business is always less desirable because their work is dependent on the clients’ pricing, business, etc. The main goal of this factory is to create and sustain skilled jobs for the local community so having our own successful label with vertical integration is ideal.

Daniel the factory manager

Last weekend, we went to Diani Beach, one of the world’s top white sand beach resort getaways.

Diani also hosts a fair trade sewing factory that ships internationally. Soko Kenya is run by an English gal, Joanna Maiden, who came to Kenya right out of uni and was inspired to set up shop to provide jobs in the local community. She’s been in business for 2 years and is already profitable, but barely.

She was stressed about a check for her workers’ pension that hadn’t cashed since she sent it in Feb for the amount of 20,000 shillings which is about $250. Employers are require by law to contribute to pension but nobody believes they will receive a penny of it.  I’m not sure it’s been legal for long enough for a retiree to reap or be cheated out of it so we can’t be sure the system is working.

It is really incredible and humbling to see someone so young working so hard to make a difference in a country that is so hard to do so. More about Soko Kenya here and here.

Our relaunch collection is inspired by the beautiful Khangas worn by East African women. These are some of the khangas I picked up on this trip:

Community Newsletter September 2010

This is our third newsletter of a series in which we would like to take the opportunity to inform our neighbours and the local community about the activities of Wildlife Works Carbon (WWC). WWC is an exciting new arm of Wildlife Works that aims to access the growing global carbon market for the benefit of Kenyans.


In conjunction with Wildlife Works Carbon, based on Rukinga Ranch is Wildlife Works Factory EPZ.  The EPZ was setup in 2001 and the construction of a clothing factory was started.  The aim of the factory was to create local employment opportunities, and training for local craftsmen and women.  Mr. Daniel Munyao manages the clothing factory and it currently employs 15 people. Fabrics are imported, and manufactured into high quality clothing, and are exported to the European and American markets.  It is the aim of Wildlife Works EPZ to continue to expand the clothing factory in the future, and with that expansion create further employment opportunities within the area and within our local communities.



“I am 19 years old and I was successfully sponsored in 2006 after I completed my Primary School education in Jora Primary at Kasigau. I joined a provincial school known as Bura Girls, which is found in Taita District. The course took four years and by 2009 I successfully completed and achieved a mean grade of B+. This is a grade that will qualify me to join a public University.

At the moment I am working at Wildlife Works as a volunteer waiting to join University. I would like to study medicine, as this has always been my dream job. It has been nice working at Wildlife Works since I have not wasted my time outside the village doing nothing. And I am really enjoying this, as I would be staying here until next year on August when I leave for University.”



Towards the end of September 2010, construction began on a new Rangers and Security post on Rukinga Ranch, near Rukinga hill. This construction has given temporary employment to 7 people from Makwasenyi, another 7 people from Bungule Village and also team of fundi’s from Maungu Village. The new post is strategically positioned within the centre of the Wildlife Works Carbon project area, to enable us to increase patrols and offer further support to the ongoing carbon project.



We will be holding recruitment days around the community in the area to increase the number of Rangers we have:

On the 5 November at KAJIRE for the people of Kajire /Kishamba/ Mwambiti.

On the 6 November at MARAPU for the people of Zongwani/ Raghas/ Marapu/Tario & Teri

On the 9 November at LANDI for the people of Mbarenyi/Mwatate & Mzwanenyi

On the 12 November at MAKWASINYI for the people of Rukanga/ Jora/ Bungule/ Makwasinyi & Kiteghe

There is a height restriction of 5ft 6 inches otherwise ALL are welcome. Please be there at 7.00 am on the day



We shall be coming to the community areas to collect tree seedlings as per our previous newsletter. We will provide the transport from the nearest road, so would request all seedlings to be positioned close to the road on the appropriate dates as we will not be able to go into individual homesteads for collection, due to time restraints. Payment will be made for all seedlings according to the most recent newsletter (July/August)






If anyone with any specific questions please call Lenjo at Wildlife Works.

Many thanks for everybody’s help and participation.

Community Newsletter August 2010

This is our second newsletter of a series in which we would like to take the opportunity to inform our neighbors and the local community about the activities of Wildlife Works Carbon (WWC).  Many of you have heard of Wildlife Works Ltd, which has worked at Rukinga Ranch for the last 10 years since February 2000 to provide jobs and protect the environment.  WWC is an exciting new arm of Wildlife Works that aims to access the growing global carbon market for the benefit of Kenyans.


Eric Sagwe (Head Ranger) from Wildlife Works Carbon at a Maungu Clean up Day


MAUNGU CLEAN UP DAY ON 9 JULY On the 9th July a Clean up Day was organized for Maungu Village in conjunction with the District Health Office with funding from Wildlife Works Carbon and drinks from World Vision. 28 Wildlife Works Rangers attended the Community Clean up and help to assist the school children. We also held Community Barazas discussing the REDD Carbon project and the immediate effects plus the longer more positive impact it will have on the communities in the area. Three baraza’s were held in the month of July at Sagalla Hill Upper, and we have arranged through the Chief and Sub Chiefs to have them every other week in all the community areas of Teri, Talio, Kishamba and Ndara sub-locations of Sagalla Hill.

WWC also went to the Kasigau Basket promotion Baraza on the 29 July to support the women’s’ group. On the 30th July another Baraza was held at Bungule. Many thanks to all those that helped support the meetings as well as the community members that came to listen. These meetings are a very important part of our project where we let everybody know what the REDD project is about as well as the getting to know the communities and what their needs are at ground level. By mobilizing the communities  into Development Committees that can bring the communities together to identify and prioritize what they want when the Carbon Funding becomes available in January 2011. The project will be for a 20-year period and annual income from Carbon sales will have a significant positive economic impact on the area Upcoming Barazas in August will be: Kajire on the 2 August,  Mgeno Reserve on 11 August, Kirumbe Primary School on 18August.


During the month of May Wildlife Works Carbon requested a call for partnership with local surrounding communities, the aim of which was to purchase up to 40,000 indigenous trees. A new nursery would have to be built to accommodate them. Due to the persistent water deprivation issues it was decided to locate them at Rukinga Ranch. This would ensure that a reliable water source for the seedlings from the nearby Mzima pipeline, and allow them to be nurtured to a healthy size before being planted out in the surrounding areas.The construction using local craftsmen started in June and will be completed soon. The roof of the nursery is constructed from 60% shadenet, to afford the seedlings ample shade from the sun. The shade net is suspended from highly tensioned wire and steel posts and covers a total area of 2,848 square feet of shade. The furrows are made from over 5,000 stabilized mud bricks that are then plastered to protect from irrigation. Water in being plumbed from two storage tanks and the entire tree nursery had to be  chain link fenced to prevent possible seedling damage from Dik Dik and other herbivores 


Wildlife Works Carbon wish to buy an additional 20,000 small tree seedlings off members of the community in the project area. This will provide a small but much needed income to the people who live here, and will allow us to build up a stock of seedlings in preparation for the new Wildlife Works Carbon green houses and reforestation projects in the community areas. The seedlings should be at least 6 inches (15 cms) tall and can be presented to us in any container ….old water bottles, old plastic bags, or even half a coconut shell! We will collect the seedlings from various collection points around the communities towards the end of October. Collection points will be decided closer to the time.:


15  Shillings for healthy seedlings for the species listed:            10 Shillings for the below species:

Newtonia hildebrandti (Mukami)                                                                                       Melia volkensii (Mukurumbutu)

Manilkara (Mnago)                                                                                                    Acacia Tortillas (Mwagubu)

Brachylanea huillensis (Maribongo)                                                                Delonix  Elata (Mwarangi)

Albizia (Mporozi)                                                                                                         Acacia nilotica (Mchemeri)

Terminalia sp[inosa (Msaghona; Maungo)                                                 Delonix elata (Mwarangi)

Terminalia browni (Mkungu)                                                                               Warburgia ugandensis (Msindiri)

Terminalia prunoides (Mshoghoreka)                                                            Lannae shweinfurthi (Mshiga)

Balanities aegyptica (Mwaghani)


5 kshs for: Leauceana leucocephala (Lusina; Lukina)                            Tamaraindus indica (mukwaju)                                                                        


Community Newsletter June 2010

This is the first newsletter of a series in which we would like to take the opportunity to inform our neighbours and the local community about the activities of Wildlife Works Carbon (WWC).  Many of you have heard of Wildlife Works Ltd, which has worked at Rukinga Ranch for the last 10 years since February 2000 to provide jobs and protect the environment.  WWC is an exciting new arm of Wildlife Works that aims to access the growing global carbon market for the benefit of Kenyans and their environment.



CLIMATE CHANGE may be the greatest danger facing our planet today.  Temperature and rainfall changes risk causing hunger; sea level change risks flooding coastal areas.  Climate change is human-caused due to gases being released into the atmosphere by factories, transport, and deforestation.  These gases, like Carbon Dioxide (CO2) trap the suns heat like a greenhouse, affecting weather patterns.  The bulk of this pollution is created in developed countries; Africa’s contribution to global CO2 emissions is very low.  But, TROPICAL DEFORESTATION accounts for almost 15% of annual CO2 emissions, more than every car, truck, and plane in the world.

In order to combat global climate change, it is clear that deforestation and land degradation need to be addressed in continents like Africa, and that the polluters (primarily developed countries) should help to pay these costs.  CO2 is absorbed by trees, shrubs and the soil.  Where the number, species, and weight of all trees and soil carbon can be scientifically documented, as well as for other living biomass such as shrubs and grasses, these credits can be sold in the international market.  The global carbon market thus aims to sell carbon credits to international companies who wish to offset their CO2 emissions.  This money can go into paying developing countries to protect forests, and reduce emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation.  These payments must be to projects that are certified and independently verified by external auditors.


The United Nations calls these projects REDUCED EMISSIONS FROM DEFORESTATION AND DEGRADATION (REDD) projects.  Wildlife Works Carbon has established the first, and currently only, REDD project in Africa that has been validated by external auditors.  This is a tremendous achievement, and responsibility, as there are many projects around the world trying to become REDD certified projects.  WWC has been able to sell the largest amount of REDD credits in Africa so far of any NGO or company. The process necessary to prove that a REDD project is genuine is very complex and expensive.  WWC invested these costs up-front.

Obviously, the support and partnership of landowners and local communities is paramount to the success of a project like this.  That is why the theme of this newsletter is ‘ushirikiano’ (partnership).  This philosophy, as set by the Wildlife Works Ltd. Precedent for over 10 years, underpins the work of WWC.  It is especially important to WWC, as REDD projects typically last for 20 years or more.  This means that carbon credit sales are consistent year after year, as long as the forest is protected.

WWC knows that many people depend upon natural resources for their primary livelihoods in the Taita-Taveta area.  The Rukinga-Kasigau Corridor REDD project aims to help people develop sustainable natural resource management as well as alternative livelihood opportunities.  To that end, WWC aims to work closely, and in partnership with, local communities to identify the opportunities for carbon to improve people’s lives.


  • · All the expenses of documenting the REDD Project, getting it audited, selling the carbon units and helping landowners to protect the land from unsustainable uses every year is the role of WWC.
  • · WWC has to scientifically sample the biomass.
  • In partnership with local communities to identify priorities, WWC will invest in community development projects in communities that help us to protect the carbon.



We have now entered into Carbon Easement agreements with 11 Group Ranches in the area.

An easement is the right to use aspects of someone’s property without owning it. A Carbon Easement agreement is NOT a sale of land; it accords the CARBON RIGHTS of an area to WWC. This means that landowners still own their land and rights to it such as tourism and some livestock.  WWC will pay landowners annually to manage their land in a conservation-friendly way.  The easement agreement means that landowners agree to limit logging, over-grazing, charcoal production and agricultural conversion on their land in exchange for an annual payment from carbon sales.  Landowners can freely exit this easement agreement if they so wish, though we at WWC hope this will not be the case!  WWC has hired a number of youths from local communities and purchased new vehicles to help landowners to protect their carbon stocks.  WWC’s ranger teams are lead by Mr. Eric Sagwe, who was born in the Maungu area.

We would like to congratulate our new rangers who were recruited in 2010. Seventy people qualified to become WWC Rangers. We are still building new ranger camps, but already we have taken on the first thirty new recruits:

1. Stephen Mswahilii – Makwasinyi 2. Elemu Lokichari – Miasenyi

3. Simon Kiprop – ex Taita Ranch 4. Boniface Mnyambo – Wworks

5. Nicholas Rono – ex Taita Ranch 6. Dominic Kivuva – Maungu

7. Peter Anelico – Mwatambe 8. Emmanuel Ndurya – Kale

9. Mohamed Abdalla – Maungu 10. Federick Kyalo – Mackinnon rd

11. Joshua Thuranira – Maungu 12. Daniel Ngazi Kombo – Itinyi

13. Jumaa Chiboya- Sasenyi 14. Chrispin Mazoza – Mwatate

15. Paul Msheshe – Sagalla 16. Evans Mwachoki – Maungu

17. Ayub Lalo – Mackinnon rd 18. Omari A Wanjala – Maungu

19. Stephen Mwalimo – Kibaoni 20. Jackson Ngiyo – Marungu

21. Peter Nyamoko – Lockichogia 22. Moses Lorewa – ex Taita Ranch

23. Lalo M Lalo- Mackinnon rd 24. Mohamed Rai – Sasenyi

25. Cassian Mwakio – Maungu 26. Hassan Lugwe – Sasenyi

27. Augustine Mjomba- Buguta 28. Michael Mulonzi – Itinyi

29. Davis Mwakuro – Rukanga 30. John Lopeyo – Samburu

Future Progress


The Ranches that have signed up to Phase II REDD are Kambanga Ranch, Dawida Ranch, Wushumbu Ranch, Amaka Ranch, Taita Ranch, Wangala Ranch, Sagalla Ranch, Ndara Ranch, Mgeno Ranch, Maungu Ranch, and last but not least, Kasigau Ranch.


Currently, Carbon Plot teams are collecting data for every ranch to see how much Carbon is in each Ranch. At the end of 2010, WWC hopes to sell the carbon credits on the market just like gold or coffee.  The money raised will be used to pay landowners, cover WWC’s costs and invest into communities in 2011 and beyond.


The next step is that WWC will be holding barazas with communities to provide regular feedback about WWC activities and to seek input into community development priorities that could be supported from 2011.  Funds will be limited but we hope to support projects that will benefit the most people and help to protect the carbon.


Please feel free to contact us at Wildlife Works Carbon with any advice, suggestions or concerns.  WWC can be contacted through:


Mr. Lenjo Lauren, Community Manager Mobile 0722 281 851

Ms. Lara Cowan, Carbon Office Mobile 0752 474717

Mr. Rob Dodson Director Mobile 0722 530024

Main Office 02080 30575

P O Box 310 – 80300 Voi



Karibu means Welcome in Swahili.

This is the pre pre relaunch blog of Wildlife Works, which was started in 1997 by the visionary Mike Korchinsky.

Wildlife Works Sancuary

Mike’s first trip to Africa for vacation 14 years ago launched him into a lifetime’s work to save Africa’s wildlife. He saw a cycle of violence between the rangers, poachers and wildlife that prevented any chance for long-term, sustainable solutions for the community. He quit the consulting company he started and sold, purchased 80,000 acres of land in East Kenya to build his vision for Wildlife Works, an apparel production company advancing economic and social solutions for communities where wildlife survival is threatened.

Currently, over 500,000 acres of land in Rukinga is under Wildlife Works’ protection and over 200 jobs have been provided, making Wildlife Works the largest job provider in the area of 45,000 residents.

We will be posting stories from the African bush where we are catching poachers, building schools, rehabilitating wildlife, saving trees and challenging the limits in sustainable fashion design.

Visit us often. Our new website, designs and Facebook page coming soon!

Mombasa Road Wildlife Crossing Point

By Rob Dodson on Oct 13, 2010:

An historic day, marking out the new Mombasa Road Wildlife Corridor. This 2.3km stretch of road will be left open and undeveloped between the Tsavo East National Park boundary in the north and Jojoba, Rukinga and Wangalla Ranches in the south.

Pictured above from left to right…. Laurian Lenjo, Wildlife Works Carbon Community Officer. James Kilonzi, Committee Member of the Marungu Hills Conservancy Association. Samuel Eregai, Wildlife Works Ranger. Eric Sagwe, Wildlife Works Head Ranger. Patrick Kabanya, Maungu Council of Elders representative. Cllr. James Mboga, Marungu Ward. Paschal Mulonzya, Wildlife Works Accounts Manager and Lucien Kisozhi, Wildlife Works Ranger.

Now that the land has been officially demarcated, the Marungu Ward Councillor Mr James Mboga (pictured at the centre of the first photograph) will apply for permission for sign boards to be erected at either side of the corridor, alerting traffic to be vigilant and drive carefully through the corridor. Wildlife Works Carbon will assist with funding the construction of the signboards and the revenue collected through the sale of carbon credits from the land inside the corridor will be distributed through the Marungu Hills Conservancy Association.

In the future it might well be necessary to either bridge or tunnel under the increasingly busy highway to allow the wildlife dispersal flow to continue between the park and the ranches, but for now this important step forward will allow land to be left open as Maungu continues to spread and land is allocated between the park and the ranches.

The southern boundary of the wildlife corridor is marked as trucks and cars speed past on the busy Mombasa-Nairobi highway.


Protecting + Forests + Wildlife + Community since 1997.

Wildlife Works is the world's leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world's forests.