Livelihoods Insurance from Elephants (LIFE) in Kenya and Sri Lanka

Project
Active
April 2018 to March 2021

IIED is working to facilitate private markets to insure small-scale women and men farmers for damage caused by human-wildlife conflict, primarily from elephants. This will provide support for insurance in two countries, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

Elephants roam the plain in Kenya

Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) imposes major economic and human costs on poor women and men farmers in many parts of the world, particularly around protected areas.

Elephants are a major source of HWC in both Africa and Asia. They trample or eat crops, damage property, and sometime cause human injury or even death. In many cases this leads to killing of wildlife by local people, either directly in defence or from revenge, or through their support for illegal killing by external poachers.

Globally, many different interventions have been tried to reduce HWC, including physical and financial measures, but these have had limited success.

This project is intended to help the governments of Kenya and Sri Lanka to pilot new insurance schemes, learn from one other, and develop an effective national approach to tackle HWC.  

What is IIED doing?

The project will work to reduce HWC, which has been a direct outcome of expansion of human activities into wildlife habitats through encroachments into elephant habitat space and migration routes.

It is expected that the project will reduce losses and damage due to human elephant conflict in Kenya and Sri Lanka for insured male and female farmers covered by insurance by the end of the project from an established baseline. And it is estimated that by the end of the project, government data will demonstrate that the introduction of private insurance will have reduced elephant fatalities by human elephant conflict in Kenya and in Sri Lanka.

 A Kenyan woman’s maize crop

IIED will provide overall technical oversight and coordinate the project, manage partner contracts and provide donor reporting to the Uk government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The institute will lead on the global review of existing insurance schemes at the start of the project and lessons learned from the two countries at the end of the project – linking national level institutions in Kenya and Sri Lanka with global experts and practitioners.

Our partner, the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), will lead the fieldwork in Sri Lanka, while AB Consultants will lead on the design of the insurance scheme in Kenya. Overall, these organisations will provide more detailed support to national implementation led by government and private insurance companies in Kenya and Sri Lanka.