Defending Ogiek communities

In Kenya forest communities are being evicted from their lands in the name of conservation. These evictions allow the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to take control of these lands and forests.

The Ogiek indigenous people of the Chepkitale, Mt. Elgon, number some 5,000 people. Presence on their community lands was made illegal in 2000, but the Ogiek have demonstrated that when the community controls this land, deforestation decreases. The insecure nature of their predicament came sharply into focus when, having not faced evictions since 2008, the burning of their homes began in 2016.

As the best forest guardians, this project aims to help the Ogiek gain legal rights for their lands and communicate with outsiders, including conservation agencies and local government. It also helps the community implement laws, arrest those destroying the forest, and share traditional knowledge.


Threats:


• Lack of recognition of community rights and legal access to lands.
• Charcoal burning
• Elephant poaching
• ‘Shamba System’ of management resulting in shrinking forest.


Achievements:


Size of Wales is excited to support this new project

Hectares:


178,000


UK Partner:



Small action - big impact