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EU! Don’t fund Kenyan forest evictions. #Sengwer

This petition had 172 supporters

Ask EU to halt funding for Kenyan WaTER project to stop evictions of forest communities.

Since 2007 the forest dwelling peoples of the Embobut Forest have been being evicted from their ancestral land through a programme run by the Kenyan Forestry Service with funding from the World Bank. This came to an end in 2013, but evictions continued.

As seen in the documentary Honey at The Top over this period, the Sengwer community of the Embobut forest have been evicted from their homes, arrested, jailed, beaten. Their homes burnt and their livelihoods ruined.

Evictions continue and now the KFS and Kenyan Government are seeking funding from the European Union to continue the same approach under the Kenya WaTER programme. The purpose of which they claim is: “to improve the quality and quantity of ecosystem products and services provided by Kenya's water towers through increased forest cover, improved landscape and natural resource management”.

However, this programme looks destined to continue the evictions, and to continue destroying the Sengwer's way of life and their indigenous forest, rather than securing their forests through securing their constitutionally recognized rights to their lands. 

We ask that the EU:

1. Ensure KFS halt the evictions and instead base the project on a recognition of the rights of the Sengwer of the Cherangany Hills and the Ogiek of Mt Elgon to their ancestral lands;

2. Recognise that successful and rights-based conservation must be based on recognising the land rights of such peoples (in accordance with the new conservation science, the Kenyan Constitution, international law and the human rights laws and policies governing such projects of the EU);

3. Meaningfully consult the Sengwer and Ogiek in designing, implementing and monitoring the Project; and secure their Free, Prior and Informed Consent for any activities on their ancestral lands.

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