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Uvinje villages still at risk of eviction.

2nd Appeal to the Government of Tanzania by the ICCA consortium to prevent the eviction of Uvinje’s villagers.

This new ICCA appeal comes because Uvinje villagers have not only not received a response from the Tanzanian government but have also learned that TANAPA is now trying to finish a compensation exercise in order to be legally entitled to begin forcible evictions. The list of people to be compensated has been called into question as it apparently is made up almost entirely of people who do not live in Uvinje and contains none of those who do, as the latter have persistently refused to accept compensation.

Ref: Soliciting response to ICCA Consortium letter regarding attempted eviction of Uvinje community of Saadani Village, Pwani, northeast Tanzania

Excellencies* (See list below),

We refer to our letter dated August 20, 2014, in which we expressed strong concerns regarding the threatened eviction of the Uvinje villagers from their ancestrally owned coastal land adjacent to the Saadani National Park. To date we have received no response to this letter.

We understand that TANAPA has not yet withdrawn its claims, nor communicated formally with Sadaani Village and its most affected sub-village, Uvinje. Further, and of profound concern, we understand that there is a possibility that a group of individuals claiming to possess relevant ‘land rights’, is imminently to be paid ‘compensation’ for rescinding such alleged rights. Under Tanzanian law, and without any specific agreement from the rightful land owners in Uvinje, this could constitute a serious abuse in process and substance that you will surely wish to avoid. Indeed, If the alleged ‘compensation’ is about to be paid, we call on your good offices to ensure that this is avoided.

For 14 years, the Uvinje villagers have tirelessly worked to bring the threatened eviction matter to the attention of the relevant authorities. In the absence of an appropriate and lawful response, we understand that they are on the verge of proceeding with litigation. This is truly unfortunate! Tanzania has been heralded by many, including our global membership, as an international leader in both the recognition of customary land rights and the practical development of mechanisms to enable communities to contribute to national conservation objectives. At the recent World Parks Congress (WPC – Sydney November 2014) discussion of the Uvinje case was prominent in a number of workshops and working groups, and many expressed the conviction that the Tanzanian Government would be able to solve the matter in line with international agreements and best practices. If this proves to be otherwise, the international disappointment will be tremendous.

The ICCA Consortium Secretariat, as well as its global membership, are tracking the matter and eagerly awaiting a positive resolution consistent with Tanzania’s own land tenure and natural resource policies that protect village land rights, as well as with international human rights obligations, CBD decisions, IUCN Resolutions and the recent WPC ‘Promise of Sydney’.

For your convenience we attach here again our original letter and list of annexes that can be found in the Internet.

We would like to solicit your urgent response and action, hoping that the participation of Tanzania in the recent World Parks Congress may have strengthened your posture on community conservation in line with the results of the Congress itself.

We look forward to your prompt reply.

Dr. M. Taghi Farvar
President , The ICCA Consortium

Dr. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend
Global Coordinator, The ICCA Consortium

Hon. H.E Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete – President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda – Prime Minister.
Hon. Dr. Binilith Satano Mahenge – Minister of Environment in the Vice-president’s office.
Hon Lazaro Samuel Nyalandu – Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
Hon. Mahmoud Mgimwa – Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism.
Hon. James Lembeli – Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Land, Environment & Natural Resources.
Hon. Prof. Anna KajumuloTibaijuka – Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development.
Mr. Allan J H Kijazi – Director General of TANAPA.
Regional Commissioner Eng Evarist Ndikilo, P.O.Box 30080, Kibaha-Pwani.
Bahame Nyanduga – President of the National Human Rights Institution, Tanzania (hand delivered).
Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance, Plot no 8, Haki House, Luthuli Street, Box 2643, Dar Es Salaam.
Mr. Braulio da Souza Dias – Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Mr. Trevor Sandwith – Director of the IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme and 2014 World Parks Congress.
Mr. George Wambura – Executive Secretary of the Community Wildlife Authorised Association Consortium.
Ms. Maanda Ngoitiko – Executive Director of Pastoral Women Council.


ICCA Blog Post on the Case of Uvinje and Saadani National Park

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