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."
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.
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.