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Community / Land projects / F.a: From conflict to opportunity: rights-based forest conservation in Kenya

F.a: From conflict to opportunity: rights-based forest conservation in Kenya


01/14 - 12/15


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The project entails a rights based approach to conservation in which forest communities’ past and present land dispossession in the name of conservation are redressed and a new approach in which the same communities become recognised as having the rights and responsibilities that accompany their community ownership of their ancestral forest lands. Communities thereby become the pillars of long term sustainable use and protection of their natural resources with the support of conservation agencies. On nati onal level CIPDP together with its allies advocates within the legal reform process related to the forest dependent communities’ land rights. On local level the Ogiek and Sengwer capacity to participate in the decision-making concerning themselves is str engthened as well as drafting of community by-laws and ensuring their implementation. On international level CIPDP will present the Kenyan forest dependent communities’ context and objectives to the World Bank Inspection Panel and the Finnish Ministry fo r Foreign Affairs, as well as participate in the civil society activities to be organised in relation to the World Forestry Congress taking place in Durban in September as a part of wider collaboration with Siemenpuu.Chepkitale Indigenous People Developmen t Project (CIPDP) was founded by the Ogiek community of Chepkitale in 2000, and it was registered in 2003. CIPDP aims to safeguard the rights of the Ogiek community in Mt. Elgon, particularly the land and natural resource rights. Land rights are the founda tion of livelihood, culture and forests. CIPDP bases its advocacy work on the rights recognized in the Kenyan constitution of 2010.CIPDP has pushed the Mt. Elgon county governance to return the community lands under community ownership, developed the const ruction of community by-laws as well as trained community scouts who monitor that they are adhered to. Together with other forest dependent communities CIPDP has advocated for the community land right bill drafting process coordinated by the National Land Commission.On the national level CIPDP collaborates with other forest dependent communities for instance via the Forest Indigenous Peoples Network (FIPN), which it currently coordinates. On the international level one of CIPDP’s close allies is the Fores t Peoples Programme (FPP), and it is in the process of applying membership in the International Land Coalition (ILC), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the ICCA Consortium.

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