THREE leading human rights organisations have released a statement denouncing Kenya’s illegal evictions of the Ogiek people, and highlighting the role conservation projects and carbon credits could play in such land thefts.

In the statement, Survival International, Amnesty International and Minority Rights Group note that: “Indigenous peoples cannot be evicted without their free, prior, and informed consent, and that evictions without such consent are […] unlawful.”

An estimated 167 Ogiek houses, including a school, have been destroyed in the Mau Forest, in just the latest wave of a series of evictions which have been going on for years. Daniel Kobei, Executive Director of the Ogiek Peoples’ Development Programme said: “This is a government eating its own children.” The evictions also violate two groundbreaking rulings of the African Court.

The organisations point out that Kenya recently signed agreements that will pave the way for reforestation as well as the production of carbon credits on millions of hectares of land.

These projects, and other moves to expand the carbon credits market in the Global South, are expected to greatly increase the theft of Indigenous peoples’ lands; increase funding for violent fortress conservation projects; and will likely lead to many more waves of evictions.

* Read the full statement here.

* Source: Survival International