Over four intense days, representatives from communities, conservation, human rights and government engaged in a Global Dialogue on Human Rights and Biodiversity Conservation.
Published on 10 August 2014, this article by Peter kitelo examines how the Constitution of Kenya 2010 aimed to establish institutions that would promote aspirations of the people, based on integrity, equality, social justice, and people’s democracy.
What are the prospects for securing the land rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, and women in the foreseeable future?
Significantly, the report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, under Goal 1 to “End Poverty”, sets a target to “Increase by x% the share of women and men, communities, and businesses with secure rights to land, property, and other assets”.
“We have never conserved. It is the way we live that conserves. These customary bylaws we have had forever, but we have not written them down until now."
With generous assistance from the Rights and Resources Intiative (RRI) and IUCN’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) supported Thai and Kenyan partners to attend the 5th IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC5) from 6-15 September in Jeju, South Korea.
Forest Peoples Programme and a delegation of indigenous peoples’ leaders from Guyana, Suriname, Peru, Panama and Kenya attended the Rio+20 Indigenous Peoples’ International Conference on Self-Sustainable Development and Self-Determination from 17-19 June and the formal Rio+20 intergovernmental meeting from 20-22 June 2012.
The Ogiek of Mount Elgon, Kenya, are on the verge of reaching a legal agreement that will have their ancestral lands returned to them. However, they urgently need financial help (around £5,000) in order to make these last steps possible. This is an extraordinary opportunity for them to regain their land and continue their sustainable livelihoods, an extraordinary opportunity for them to gain legal recognition so that they are no longer threatened with eviction.
As government representatives start formal negotiations in Brazil to seek agreements on so-called ‘green economy’ policies and to assess progress in fulfilling commitments on environment and development made at the Rio Earth Summit twenty years ago, indigenous peoples from all over the world have come together at the Rio+20 global summit to put forward their own solutions for sustainable development and to flag serious risks associated with government ‘green’ proposals.
Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at their recent COP17 did not support performance indicators for reporting on the implementation of indigenous peoples’ rights in REDD+. However, they did recognise that REDD+ benefits have to go beyond carbon to include biodiversity conservation and support for local livelihoods.
Forest Peoples Programme, with a delegation of indigenous peoples from Guyana, Kenya, Cameroon, Suriname and Peru, attended preparatory negotiations and the 17th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa, in late November/early December 2011. The main purpose of FPP’s attendance was to support the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus and closely follow negotiations on REDD+ safeguards and finance.