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Africa

Indigenous peoples across Africa are facing significant challenges in maintaining their traditional ways of life and protecting their lands and natural resources, such as extractivism and exclusionary conservation.

In Africa, we partner with the Indigenous Information Network (IIN) and the Chepkitale Indigenous Peoples Development Programme (CIPDP) in Kenya, who are working to address these issues.

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Project Update April 2024

This Project Update, published in April 2024, brings together updates from the Transformative Pathways partners on their key activities and work undertaken since the start of the project in 2022.   Capacity building sessions on biodiversity monitoring have been a key part of the first phase…
11.04.24

Introduction to community-based environmental monitoring: practical guidance for monitoring of natural resources by Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

This guide is for the local organisations working with communities (e.g. community-based organisations and local non-governmental organisations), which are facilitating Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPs and LCs) to design and implement environmental and biodiversity monitoring activities on their lands. The guide includes approaches and…
03.04.24
Article
Learning new skills on planting and restoration to achieve food security. Photo credits: IIN

Food sovereignty in Maasai, Samburu and Pokot communities in relation to their traditional knowledge

The Maasai, Samburu and Pokot are semi nomadic pastoralist communities in Kenya who migrate within semi- arid lowlands to obtain water and pasture for their livestock. Their lifestyle centres around their cattle which constitute their primary source of food, and for them wealth is measured…
02.04.24
Video

Second Transformative Pathways In-Person Meeting 

In February 2024, twelve project partners of the Transformative Pathways consortium gathered for the second in-person planning and review meeting at Laboot, Chepkitale in Kenya. The meeting hosted nearly 80 participants, including representatives of all organisations, and local community members of the Ogiek of Mt…
02.04.24
A new dawn Mt.Elgon forest. Photo by Dickence, CIPDP

Report on baseline study of the existing policy frameworks for IPLCs on recognition of land rights and indigenous and local knowledge in the context of biodiversity conservation in Kenya

The baseline study of the current policy framework for IPLCs on recognition of land rights and indigenous and local knowledge in the context of biodiversity conservation in Kenya is a project of the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP). The objectives of the consultancy assignment were to…
07.03.24
Article
Local artists perform “moomi olee kerkeey kooreenyoo”, a song about the splendor

Conservation through application of traditional practices and indigenous knowledge

Indigenous communities are perhaps the only groups of people in Africa who still maintain their traditional values and culture. Often, their way of life is dictated by their environment and available natural resources, and to live in harmony with nature, they have to develop ways…
04.12.23

Further info

The situation of indigenous peoples and biodiversity in Africa is complex and varied, as there are many different indigenous communities and ecosystems across the continent. Overall, however, many indigenous peoples in Africa face significant challenges in maintaining their traditional ways of life and protecting their lands and natural resources. 

One of the threats to indigenous peoples and biodiversity in Africa is the encroachment of mining, agriculture, and infrastructure projects. This often results in the displacement of indigenous communities and the destruction of their lands and natural resources, which can have devastating impacts on both the people and the ecosystems they depend on. 

Another threat is the creation and management of protected areas on indigenous lands in Africa. Although these conservation projects aim to protect biodiversity, in doing so they evict indigenous peoples and local communities from the land that they have protected and sustainably managed for generations. 

A significant challenge is the lack of recognition and protection of indigenous rights by many African governments, which often fail to consult with or obtain the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous communities before authorising development projects on their lands. This can lead to conflicts and human rights abuses, as well as the loss of important cultural and ecological knowledge. 

Many indigenous community organizations such as CIPDP and IIN in Kenya, continue to work towards the protection of their lands and natural resources, often with the support of international organisations and civil society groups. These efforts include advocacy and legal action, as well as community-based conservation initiatives that seek to promote sustainable land use and biodiversity conservation while respecting indigenous rights and knowledge. 

Landscape of Transmara, Narok County. Forest coverage in the area has decreased over years due to increased agricultural activities such as sugarcane plantation.
Landscape of Transmara, Narok County. Forest coverage in the area has decreased over years due to increased agricultural activities such as sugarcane plantation. Photo by Indigenous Information Network (IIN)
Elephants grazing in the rich undergrowth of Mt. Elgon Forest, Kenya
Elephants grazing in the rich undergrowth of Mt. Elgon Forest. Photo by Dickence/CIPDP
Community members having a workshop the traditional way around a bonfire, Kenya.
Community members having a workshop the traditional way around a bonfire. Photo by Mutai/CIPDP