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Samburu Testimonial Series No 1 - A personal message to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)

Nakuru Lemiruni's six children were all born in Kisargei and says she 'cannot think of any other land as home'. She wanted to send a message to AWF. This is it.

The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home after the land was sold to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF – with funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government. This is the first in a series of text and video based testimonials produced by Jo Woodman of Survival International, Zoe Young - freelance film maker and Nicholas Winer of Just Conservation.

More… Sep 27, 2012

Tanzania’s Land Rights Violations

Tanzania’s Troubling Trend of Land Rights Violations And Evictions.

This article highlights the plight of the Maasai in Tanzania who are experiencing land rights violations and evictions. The author is a frequent visitor to Tanzania and has first-hand knowledge of the situation there.

More… Sep 17, 2012

Tanzania denies plan to evict Maasai for UAE royal hunting ground

Government says 750,000 signatories to online petition are 'misled', as campaigners attack 'policy from another century'

Representatives of the Maasai appealed to Avaaz for help in opposing any deal. The petition is addressed to Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete, but the government insists that there are no plans to force the Maasai out.

More… Aug 16, 2012

The Negotiations – Another Update on Thomson Safaris’ Land Grab in Loliondo

From Susana Nordlund's blog - View from the Termite Mound

"It’s been reported that people thanked God for being able to see the beginning of the end and that they would get their land back. Some also talked about the owners of Thomson Safaris being misled by their employees about the situation on the ground since they have never talked with the community face to face, but any “innocence” on the part of the owners seems very unlikely after so many years and after reports by various people, and it seems especially unlikely to someone who has followed their ruthless hypocrisy online. Some people attending the meeting asked MRG to help them against the harassment by Thomson."

More… Jul 25, 2012

Help the Ogiek to regain their ancestral lands at Chepkitale, Mount Elgon in Kenya - Request for Donations

The Ogiek of Mount Elgon, Kenya, are on the verge of reaching a legal agreement that will have their ancestral lands returned to them. However, they urgently need financial help (around £5,000) in order to make these last steps possible.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for them to regain their land and continue their sustainable livelihoods, an extraordinary opportunity for them to gain legal recognition so that they are no longer threatened with eviction. This cash is needed to support them in what we hope will be the final push to ensure their right to their land is legally recognised.

More… Jun 21, 2012

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and its land claimants

A pre- and post-land claim conservation and development history

Abstract. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and neighbouring Botswana. The local communities on the South African side, the Khomani San (Bushmen) and Mier living adjacent to the park have land rights inside and outside the park. The path from a history of land dispossession to being land owners has created conservation challenges manifested through heightened inter- and intra-community conflicts. The contestations for land and tourism development opportunities in and outside the park have drawn in powerful institutions such as the governments, South African National Parks, private safari companies, local interest groups and NGOs against relatively powerless local communities. This has consequently attracted national and international interest since it may result in further marginalization of the communities who lack the power to negotiate resource access. Moreover, the social and political system of the San is romanticized while little is reported about the Mier, who are an integral part of the park management system. To make these issues more accessible to a growing audience of interested parties and to better understand present conservation and development challenges and opportunities, this paper synthesizes information on the pre- and post-land restitution history of the park and the adjacent communities.

More… Apr 06, 2012

Ethiopia: Government Suspends Allocations, Accelerates Domestic Preparation of Land.

The Ministry reported that it receives at least 400 monthly requests for information on investments in the area.

The Ministry of Agriculture denies human rights violations in the clearing of lands that amount to 42 percent of the region, claiming that the relocation of Indigenous peoples who formerly occupied to land was ‘voluntary.’

More… Mar 25, 2012

Leaked map reveals Ethiopia’s mass evictions plan

Leaked to Survival International, the map shows where Ethiopia intends to resettle tribes whose land and communities stand in the way of their ‘development’ plans.

"This leaked map reveals what the Ethiopian government has wanted to conceal – its intention to resettle indigenous tribes in the Lower Omo Valley. Taken together with the widespread reports of violent evictions and intimidation, it clearly shows Ethiopia’s end goal – and its refusal to respect the rights of anybody who stands in its way."

More… Mar 23, 2012