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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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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Green grabbing: Compensatory afforestation in India

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.

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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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Indigenous Peoples and Southern Civil Society observers to the FCPF respond to NGOs’ call for the World Bank to suspend its REDD programme. Rainforest Foundation UK replies: “We trust that as observers you will seriously consider both the lack of meaningful progress on REDD Readiness as well as the very worrying reports emerging from certain ER Programmes”

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.

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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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