Kenya’s REDD programme risks exacerbating violence against indigenous Sengwer communities in Embobut forest

Since January 2014, Kenya Forest Service guards have carried out a series of violent evictions of the Sengwer indigenous people from their homes in Embobut forest. While the evictions took place the Kenya Forest Service was funded by international donors, including the World Bank, the European Union, and the Finnish government.

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How the Kasigau Corridor REDD project undermines local democracy in Kenya

Susan Chomba of the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya was the lead author of a 2016 critique of the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project. The authors found that the project increased inequity in the project area. In a response, Mwangi Githiru, an employee of Wildlife Works, the US company running the project, argued that the REDD project was actually “correcting inequity”.

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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”.

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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’”

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.

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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.

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UN experts call on Kenya to “halt the evictions of the Sengwer community”, and urge the European Union to suspend funding for climate project

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.

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“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.

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New CIFOR infobrief: Rights abuse allegations in the context of REDD+ readiness and implementation

In 2007, the Forest Peoples Programme put out a briefing paper about reduced emissions from deforestation, or RED, as REDD was called back then. The briefing warned of the risks of the rapid expansion of avoided deforestation schemes without due regard to rights, and social and livelihood issues.

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The Ogiek win huge land rights victory in Kenya

The Ogiek are one of the last groups of hunter gatherers in Kenya. Their ancestral land is in the Mau Forest in the Rift Valley of Kenya. For many years, the Kenyan government has threatened them with eviction, in the name of conservation. Last week, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled that the Ogiek have the right to live in the Mau Forest and that the government of Kenya was wrong to evict them.

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