Actualités: Caring for community lands – the case of the Mt Elgon Ogiek in Kenya

22 May, 2023

The Ogiek of Chepkitale, Mount Elgon, Kenya, protect and care for their community lands over the long term.

Published today in Oryx – the international journal of conservation – this open access article also highlights how this community control is under constant threat until and unless national law and practice recognizes the collective tenure rights of such communities.

Read the article here

The Ogiek of Chepkitale, Mount Elgon, Kenya, have worked extremely hard to regain their community land rights, and to reassert their collective care for their lands. Even though this rights are not officially recognised, they have been able to stop outside forces – including those who present themselves as coming in the name of conservation – from disrupting their lifeways, lifeways that are grounded in sustaining and being sustained by their lands.

n 2000, on advice from IUCN, the Kenyan government evicted the Ogiek from their last remaining ancestral lands at Chepkitale, but they returned despite the forceful nature of these evictions. Since then, they have remained and strengthened their presence, including through involving IUCN in assessing the situation through a Whakatane assessment.

In September 2022, the Ogiek of Mt Elgon won a 14-year court case against this eviction. The Elgon Ogiek provide a powerful example of how securing the community tenure rights of forest peoples can create a rapid, rights-based route to the effective and sustainable conservation of their forests.


‘How the Ogiek of Mount Elgon, Kenya, are using mapping to advocate for their land rights’

This short film explores how the Ogiek of Mount Elgon, Kenya are using mapping technology to protect their lands. These peoples have been victim to multiple evictions from their ancestral lands that were carried out in the name of conservation.

Through community mapping projects, the Ogiek have gathered data that proves that their land belongs to them, and that shows that they are the best-placed to conserve and sustainably use the animal and plant biodiversity on their land.

Post date: 
mar, 05/23/2023 - 01:00