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A network for all who care about the conservation of our world and who want to see it achieved with justice, compassion, dignity and honesty.

Forced Relocation of Sengwer People proves urgency of canceling REDD

Public Letter from the NO-REDD In Africa Network

We, the No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN) together with the undersigned organizations and individuals, strongly condemn the massive evictions and forced relocation of the Sengwer Indigenous People, one of the few remaining hunter-gatherers of the world, from their ancestral home in Kenya’s Cherangany Hills. The Kenyan government calls the Sengwer People ‘squatters,’ despite the fact that they and their ancestors have lived in the Cherangany Hills since time immemorial; and that Article (63d) of the Kenyan constitution (2010) grants them inalienable rights to their ancestral lands.

More… Mar 05, 2014

Kenya defies its own courts.

Torching homes and forcefully evicting the Sengwer from their ancestral lands, threatening their cultural survival.

The Kenyan government has sent Kenya Forest Service (KFS) guards, with police support, to Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills to forcibly and illegally evict thousands of Sengwer indigenous people from their ancestral forest lands and burn their homes and belongings to the ground.

More… Jan 23, 2014

People or Parks: The Human Factor in Protecting Wildlife

A Yale Environment 360 report by Richard Conniff.

Recent studies in Asia and Australia found that community-managed areas can sometimes do better than traditional parks at preserving habitat and biodiversity. When it comes to conservation, maybe local people are not the problem, but the solution.

More… Jan 13, 2014

Imminent forced eviction by Kenya threatens indigenous communities' human rights and ancestral forests

PRESS INFORMATION from the Forest People's Programme - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 8 January 2014

The Kenyan government has sent police troops to Embobut forest area (in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Western Kenya) to forcefully evict thousands of the indigenous inhabitants of the Sengwer and Cherangany communities from their ancestral forestlands. The eviction is expected to commence as early as tomorrow.

More… Jan 08, 2014

Urgent appeal against the forced eviction of Sengwer/Cherangany communities in Kenya

"We are deeply concerned by the imminent forced evictions that threaten the forest life and forest homes of the 6,000-7,000 indigenous people and other communities in Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills (Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya)."

For many years the Government has been trying to move the indigenous inhabitants of Embobut off their land by burning their homes. They have done this in the name of a fortress conservation approach which seeks to remove local people from their lands. As IUCN and all pre-eminent conservation organisations now acknowledge, such an approach only ever makes the environmental situation worse, and adds a human rights disaster to the environmental crisis.

More… Dec 24, 2013

Video - The customary bylaws of the Ogiek of Mount Elgon

Chepkitale Ogiek community document their customary bylaws for the first time in order to ensure the continued conservation of their ancestral lands and natural resources

“The Ogiek have lived in their ancestral lands, Chepkitale, governed and bound by their traditions being the unwritten law. This is what is captured in this document in the simplest language possible. This is a product of the community, by the community. It has been written with all input coming from the community and agreed on and endorsed by the community. It brings a governance structure relevant to the community today as it has been for centuries.”

More… Dec 04, 2013

Land grabbing: is conservation part of the problem or the solution?

An IIED briefing paper on land acquisition and rights prepared by Tom Blomley, Dilys Roe, Fred Nelson, Fiona Flintan

Large-scale land acquisitions are increasing in pace and scale, in particular across parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Weak governance and poor land use planning mean that commercial ‘land grabs’ often damage biodiversity as well as dispossessing people from customary rights and livelihoods. Land can also be ‘grabbed’ for ‘green’ purposes, triggering conflicts that undermine potential synergies. Expanded state protected areas, land for carbon offset markets and REDD, and for private conservation projects all potentially conflict with community rights. Such conflict is counterproductive because secure customary and communal land tenure helps enable sustainable natural resource management by local communities. This briefing presents the experience of international development, wildlife and human rights practitioners, shared at a symposium on land grabbing and conservation in March 2013.

More… Nov 04, 2013

Botswana bars Bushmen’s lawyer as landmark case starts

Justice and human rights under significant stress as Bushmen lose their right to choose their own counsel.

The effective banning of Gordon Bennett from Botswana is an insult to that country's legal and democratic tradition. It also suggests that the fears surrounding the purported lack of respect for human rights and obsession with security of Ian Khama, President of Botswana and board member of Conservation International, may be bearing a bitter fruit.

More… Jul 25, 2013