The Hirola Enterprise

The Hirola Enterprise is a profit-making business company (owned by the hcp), to implement nature-based solutions and enterprises for an unlikely win-win situation for conservation and the local communities. Our project focuses on harnessing the natural products to protect and restore hirola’s geographic range while simultaneously improving biodiversity and local livelihoods.

Our initiative works with local women and youth groups to explore:

  • Nature-based activities: These products include resins, incense, balanites oils, henna, and briquettes. Similarly, due to depleted seed banks, native grass seeds farming and harvesting has become a necessity for the restoration. As a result, this has grown to be an opportunity to diversify the local livelihoods.
  • Cultural-based activities: We work with the local Somali pastoralists to develop culturally related enterprises such as the Herio as part of the long-term tourism development plan.
  • Livestock marketing: The majority of the locals in our region are pastoralists who keep large herds of livestock. However, in recent years this practice has become unsustainable particularly with recurrent droughts taking a toll on the herds and leading to losses of unknown magnitude. As a result, and besides having alternative livelihood sources, we are partnering with the local Somalis to seek livestock markets during prolonged droughts that will allow them to destock to a manageable size and restock when necessary during the long rainy seasons as a way to cushion them from repetitive drought-related losses.
  • Hirola Conservancies Management and businesses development: We are working towards developing the conservancy’s specific businesses (such as tourism) by building commercial capacity within the conservancies, attracting investors and facilitating agreements with commercial operators.
  • Conservation Financing: Uncertainties such as the most recent global pandemic has necessitated the need for finding alternative ways to sustain conservation even in the face of crisis. hcp is working on ways to plough back some of the profits generated from nature-based initiatives to help finance basic conservation activities such as anti-poaching efforts.