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Today is always an important day for Size of Wales to highlight and celebrate the work of our Indigenous partners. As a charity whose mission it is to protect tropical forests, we recognise Indigenous Peoples as the best guardians of the forests. We partner with and uplift Indigenous communities in the tropics to protect their forests and their land rights, in the name of climate justice.
The theme for 2023’s Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is Indigenous youth as agents of change for self-determination. Taken from the UN’s website, we can understand it as this: Indigenous youth are harnessing cutting-edge technologies and developing new skills to offer solutions and contribute to a more sustainable, peaceful future for our people and planet.
And so, on this day we want to introduce you to Phoebe and Elijah, two young members of the Ogiek community and members of the Size of Wales’ longstanding partner, Chepkitale Indigenous Peoples Development Project (CIPDP). Phoebe and Elijah recently spent 3 months in the UK studying a fellowship in Oxford University on community participation in biodiversity monitoring and during this time we had the massive pleasure of meeting them.
The Ogiek peoples have used mapping technology to gather data that proves that their land belongs to them, and show that they are the best placed to conserve and sustainably use the animal and plant biodiversity on their ancestral territories.
Read more about our partnership with the Ogiek People
On 23rd May, we were so pleased to bring Phoebe and Elijah along to Hub Cymru Africa’s Global Solidarity Summit. The summit took place in Treforest, a town in the South Wales valleys and the hilly landscape made Phoebe and Elijah feel very at home. At the summit, Phoebe presented on land rights and the issues facing women and Indigenous communities. Within Indigenous territories, land is owned collectively, unlike the rest of Kenya where women have no right to buy or inherit land.
Women play a crucial role in mapping activities within Ogiek territory. Thanks to the support of Size of Wales, the Ogiek women have mapped the medicinal plants that can be found on their land which not only directly impacts their livelihoods but also ensures the preservation of vital knowledge and practices of Ogiek culture and the landscape.
See how the Ogiek plan to celebrate Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples here.
Donate here and help us on World Indigenous Day support the Ogiek people and our amazing Indigenous partners around the world.
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