Human rights and environmental organisations urge Finland to stop funding the Kenya Forest Service following human rights abuses of indigenous Sengwer people

Human rights and environmental organisations urge Finland to stop funding the Kenya Forest Service following human rights abuses of indigenous Sengwer people

Last week, the EU suspended funding to a conservation and climate project in Kenya. The suspension came after Kenya Forest Service guards shot and killed Robert Kirotich, an indigenous Sengwer man. Yesterday, human rights and environmental organisations wrote to the Finnish government calling for the suspension of Finland’s €9.5 million “Private Forestry and Forest Enterprise Support in Kenya project”.

The Sengwer have faced a series of violent evictions from their homes in the Embobut forest in the Cherangany Hills at the hands of the Kenya Forest Services.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

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Kenyan government to send elite security forces against unarmed indigenous Sengwer in Embobut forest: “Anyone found in the forest will be deemed to be a criminal and will be ‘dealt with’”

Kenyan government to send elite security forces against unarmed indigenous Sengwer in Embobut forest: “Anyone found in the forest will be deemed to be a criminal and will be ‘dealt with’”

Last week the EU suspended funding to its Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Programme in Kenya. The EU suspended funding to the €31 million project after Kenya Forest Service guards shot and killed Robert Kirotich, a 41-year-old indigenous Sengwer man. Another man was wounded.

The violence is the latest of a series of evictions of the Sengwer by the Kenya Forest Service. The evictions have been carried out in the name of conservation.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

EU suspends funding to conservation and climate project in Kenya, one day after a Kenya Forest Service guard shot and killed an indigenous Sengwer man

EU suspends funding to conservation and climate project in Kenya, one day after a Kenya Forest Service guard shot and killed an indigenous Sengwer man

The European Union has suspended funding to its Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Programme. The announcement came one day after the EU-funded Kenya Forest Service carried out a raid on the indigenous Sengwer’s land in the Embobut forest. During the raid, a Kenya Forest Service guard shot and killed Robert Kirotich, a 41-year-old indigenous Sengwer man. Another man was wounded.

Forest Peoples Programme reports that a group of 40 Kenya Forest Service guards attacked Kirotich while he was herding cattle in the Embobut forest.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

UN experts call on Kenya to “halt the evictions of the Sengwer community”

UN experts call on Kenya to “halt the evictions of the Sengwer community”

Three independent experts appointed by the UN have expressed concern about the recent evictions of the indigenous Sengwer from their homes in the Embobut Forest, in the Cherengany Hills, Kenya. The experts are John H. Knox, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

On 29 December 2017, more than 100 Kenya Forest Service guards entered the Sengwer communitiy’s lands. They fired gunshots, burned at least 15 homes, and killed livestock.

On 9 January 2018, Kenya Forest Service guards shot at a Sengwer leader. He was unhurt, but the guards burned down his house.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

“Even if they want to kill us, let them kill us here. We must continue to stay.” Sengwer women cry for help in the Embobut Forest, Kenya

“Even if they want to kill us, let them kill us here. We must continue to stay.” Sengwer women cry for help in the Embobut Forest, Kenya

The Sengwer are indigenous people who live in the Embobut forest in the Cherangani Hills in Kenya. They have lived there for time immemorial. But since British colonial rule, the Sengwer have been evicted from their homes. From 2007 to 2013, the World Bank funded the Kenya Forest Service but did nothing to support the rights of the Sengwer, in breach of World Bank safeguards.

These violent evictions are taking place in the name of conservation, to protect the forests, and to address climate change.

The European Union is funding a new six year project: the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Programme. The project is aimed at preserving ecosystem services in Mount Elgon and the Cherangany Hills. A year ago, the Sengwer appealed to the EU to respect their rights to live in the forest.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

Book review: The Big Conservation Lie

“Hero worship in conservation is as old as wildlife conservation itself. The subjects of this worship are invariably white men and women who are lionized for taking to a life of selfless service of the wilderness and its residents.”

This comes from John Mbaria and Mordecai Ogada’s book “The Big Conservation Lie“. The book is a must read for anyone interested in conservation. It raises serious questions about the way conservation is currently carried out in Kenya and in the rest of Africa.

Mbaria and Ogada describe a small cabal of exclusively white conservationists and conservation thinkers in Kenya. They don’t hesitate to name these conservation heroes in exposing the role they have played in creating “the mess the country faces today in regard to wildlife conservation”.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

“The Big Conservation Lie”: A presentation by Mordecai Ogada

“The Big Conservation Lie”: A presentation by Mordecai Ogada

“It’s a small book”, says Mordecai Ogada at the beginning of his presentation about the book he co-authored with award-winning Kenyan journalist John Mbaria. “But it’s a small book that I hope will gain some momentum of ideas in other people.” The book is “The Big Conservation Lie: The Untold Story of Wildlife Conservation in Kenya”. Conservation Watch is posting Ogada’s presentation in the hope of adding to that momentum of ideas.

Mordecia Ogada is a carnivore ecologist. He has been involved in conservation work for sixteen years in Kenya and other parts of Africa. His focus is on human-wildlife conflict mitigation and carnivore conservation. From 2011 to 2014, Ogada was the Executive Director of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org