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.
The province of Mai Ndombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo has about 10 million hectares of forest. Of the population of 1.8 million living in Mai Ndombe, about 73,000 are indigenous people.
On 21 February 2018, the Philippines State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice filed a petition in a Manila court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organisations. The petition includes the names of more than 600 people, who the government claims are communist guerrillas.
The Sengwer indigenous people who live in the Embobut forest in the western highlands of Kenya continue to face threats of violence and evictions. The latest round of violent evictions started at the end of December 2017. The evictions, carried out by the Kenya Forest Service, are supposedly in the name of “conservation”.
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”.
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.
In India, when an area of forest land is cleared, an equivalent area of land has to be afforested. Since 2006, the government has imposed a fee on companies that clear forests for mining, industry, or other projects. The money goes into the Compensatory Afforestation Fund. The Compensation Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) is the organisation responsible for overseeing this afforestation. But the money collected was largely unused.
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.
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.
For the past four years, REDD-Monitor has been documenting the evictions of the Sengwer indigenous people from their homes in the Embobut Forest, in Western Kenya. The violent evictions have been carried out by the Kenya Forest Service, supposedly in the name of conservation.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, more than a dozen NGOs signed a letter to the Bank calling for the suspension of the FCPF. “This approach to forest protection simply has not worked,” they wrote.
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.