What we do

Supporting Human Rights Defenders in the area of land-related rights, indigenous peoples, in the context of inter alia ‘land grabbing’ and climate change

Location: Kenya, DRC, Uganda, and Cameroon

Duration: January 2019 – December 2021

What is this programme about?

This project aims to guarantee the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights to land and their role in conservation and the prevention of climate change in 4 East and Central African countries (Kenya, DRC, Uganda and Cameroon) by supporting indigenous land rights defenders, their communities and representative organisations working on land and natural resources-related rights.This project brings together 12 indigenous communities across the 4 East and Central African countries.Its specific objective is to empower indigenous Land Rights Defenders and their representative organisations to overcome the lack of access to judicial and non-judicial remedies and the non-recognition of the role of indigenous peoples in preventing climate change.

Why are we delivering this programme? 

IPs in Kenya, DRC, Uganda and Cameroon – and indeed, throughout Africa – share a similar and longstanding history of denial of their land rights and the natural resources within them. This is further compounded by human rights abuses meted out in the name of conservation. This, combined with the impacts of climate change, which has hit indigenous communities the hardest, has had a severe effect on their livelihoods- heavily based on land and natural resources. The poorest and most marginalised communities, IPs are consistently denied access to judicial and non-judicial mechanisms to challenge their situation and activists who, within indigenous communities seek to challenge such situations face serious reprisals and human rights violations.

Through this project, MRG seeks to highlight the correlation between securing land tenure for indigenous communities and positive conservation outcomes.

What are we aiming to achieve?

  • Increase short & longer term capacities and protection of LRDs (50% women) through: 1- tailored training on land rights, conservation standards as well as monitoring and evidence gathering, advocacy 2- improved collaboration between LRDs through networking and joint work at national and regional level (16 local networks set up with regular meetings Inc. regional meetings).
  • Increase the number of cases of land rights violations taken to existing international, regional and domestic judicial and non-judicial mechanisms and associated increase of access to remedies secured for victims by supported LRDs.
  • Increase the commitment of at least 260 key stakeholders (inc. state actors such as judges, local authority representatives and non-state actors, such as orgs involved in climate change and conservation and multi-nationals) from target countries to ensure the respect of the rights & standards LRDs are campaigning for in order to overcome impunity and secure access to remedies for victims.

Who are our partners in this project?

  • African Christian Ministry (AICM)
  • Institut Environnement Ressources Naturelles et Developpement (ERND Institute)
  • Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
  • Reseau Camerounais des organisations des Droits de l’Homme (RECODH)

Who is funding the programme?

European Commission

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