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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.

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

'A story from Tanzania on being too busy…' by Nicholas Winer

An invited editorial for the IUCN CEESP quarterly newsletter

This article was written with the express intent of inviting and, if possible, stimulating debate amongst conservationists as to the nature of the silence over the new, so called, wildlife corridor on the border of the Serengeti. This corridor does not appear on the list of actual or potential wildlife corridors of Tanzania. It's major beneficiary will be the Otterlo Business Corporation and the losers, again, the local communities.

More… Jul 11, 2013

Financialisation, Biodiversity Conservation and Equity: Some Currents and Concerns

"The current biodiversity crisis is giving rise to calls for a massive mobilisation of financial resources to conserve biodiversity and to reduce the drivers of biodiversity loss."

"How does the marketing and financialising of conserved nonhuman nature connect with a historical trajectory that consolidates capital, including 'natural capital', in the hands of a minority of people?... ...it highlights that when nature aspects are converted into a dollar sign in a capitalist market economy, it may be the dollar that is valued, not the nature that underlies this." An important essay from JC member Sian Sullivan.

More… Feb 18, 2013

Bushmen beaten, suffocated and buried alive for killing an antelope

Kebonyeng Kepese has been arrested and beaten for hunting to feed his family.

Paramilitary police have severely beaten two Bushmen, burying one in a shallow grave, after accusing them of hunting without permits in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).

More… Dec 17, 2012