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August 31, 2022

MAS Holdings doubles down on biodiversity commitments

Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer MAS Holdings is collaborating with local landowners in Kenya to conserve wildlife on community- and privately-owned land in line with its new sustainability strategy.

By Beth Wright

MAS Intimates recently marked its partnership with The Wildlife Foundation (TWF), Kenya to conserve 6,250 acres of the Nairobi National Park Wildlife Dispersal Area. In line with the MAS Plan for Change commitment of restoring biodiversity in 100 times the space occupied by MAS facilities by 2025, this unique initiative enables MAS and TWF to collaborate with local landowners to conserve wildlife on community- and privately-owned land.

The project is an extension of TWF’s ongoing conservancy project, through which TWF leases lands from local owners to promote wildlife conservation and better land use practices. Through this partnership, MAS Intimates has been able to expand TWF’s existing conservancy of 5,000 acres to total coverage of 11,250 acres.

The conservancy model utilises both monetary and non-monetary incentives to encourage landowners and local communities to keep land unfenced for wildlife and livestock to move freely in the outskirt lands of the park. This is coupled with initiatives to raise awareness on community-based conservation, place community rangers to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, train youth and women on topics such as beekeeping, biogas, and promote the use of technology to innovate solutions for conservation challenges.

Through the conservancy, MAS Intimates and TWF hope to reduce human retaliations against lions and other predators, provide financial incentives to keep private lands open and unfenced for wildlife movement, and further the education of the children of the area, by providing project families with lease payments aligned to the start of the school terms.

The lands are leased from the Machakos and Kajiado counties, where the majority of MAS Intimates Kenya staff reside.

Kenya has continuously focused on supporting the local community and environment. This conservation project not only contributes considerably to MAS’ target of restoring 25,000 acres of habitat but has also created an opportunity for MAS Intimates Kenya to engage holistically with its local community. The group’s sustainability strategy, the MAS Plan for Change, focuses on 12 commitments under three areas of focus of product, lives, and planet, including championing biodiversity and creating thriving communities.

MAS Intimates and TWF have committed to collaborate on the conservancy project for the next five years, with the collective hope of uplifting and empowering the community to help change the planet for good.

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