ACC has established Wildlife Associations and many community-based conservation organizations such as the Amboseli Tsavo Group Ranches Conservation Association (ATGRCA); land associations such as the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO); wildlife sanctuaries, ecotourism lodges, community associations; landowners’ trusts such as the Shompole Community Trust. In its formative years, ACC pioneered research methods in ecosystems research and ecotourism. It also pioneered community-based conservation concepts and practices. Some of the result-oriented programs that ACC initiated include Minimum Viable Conservation Area (MVCA), a powerful framework for integrating Regional biodiversity conservation. The MVCA was adopted by the East African Cooperation (EAC) as a basis for regional conservation and by various donors (e.g European Union (EU) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in prioritizing their projects. ACC has also pioneered ecotourism in East Africa through its studies in Amboseli (1970s) and Mara (1990s); leading to the establishment of Ecotourism Society Of Kenya (ESOK) currently known as Ecotourism Kenya.
ACC further played a key role in the establishment of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES). More immediately, ecotourism is the bedrock of conservation-for-profit components of ACC landscape areas. Now that East Africa is responding to the ecotourism demand internationally and recognizing its potential to become the foremost ecotourism destination worldwide, ACC assumes a premier role in the conceptualization of ecotourism and innovative approaches to developing ecotourism. ACC also had its place in conservation in East Africa through the Ford Foundation funded East African Community-Based Conservation workshops in which ACC organized a regional east African ecotourism conference that brought together 200 delegates from the three East African countries whose theme was ‘The responsible business opportunity’. From this conference the book ‘Ecotourism: from an Idea to an Industry’ was published through ACC by IIED in August 2003. A database of over 100 east African institutions engaged in ecotourism was thus published on the ACC website (www.conservationafrica.org) ACC has made significant contributions to international conservation conventions such as Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) by providing information to the local secretariat, KWS.