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(26 March, 2014) La Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth International, Focus on the Global South, World Rainforest Movement and more than 120 organizations from around the world sent a letter to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, in Rome, on the occasion of March 21st, the UN International Day of Forest. The letter demands that the FAO change its present definition of forests. During the coming three months, groups will also present the demand to national and regional FAO offices.
Isaac Rojas, coordinator for forests and biodiversity of Friends of the Earth International notes that “FAO’s forest definition needs to reflect the cultural wealth that forests represent. The present definition only helps to hide this diversity, rather strengthening a set of false solutions and privatization trends, as well as activities that create negative impacts in the communities that depend on forests”.
March 12, 2014
We, the No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN) together with the Sengwer Indigenous Peoples Programme and the undersigned 66 organizations and over 300 individuals, strongly condemn the massive evictions and forced relocation of the Sengwer Indigenous People, one of the few remaining hunter-gatherers of the world, from their ancestral home in Kenya’s Cherangany Hills. The Kenyan government calls the Sengwer People ‘squatters and or Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),’ despite the fact that they and their ancestors have lived in the Cherangany Hills since time immemorial; and that Article (63d) of the Kenyan constitution (2010) grants them inalienable rights to their ancestral lands.
Sengwer spokesman Yator Kiptum denounced the “disaster” carried out by a combined force of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Administration Police, a paramilitary unit of the police, now evicting the Sengwer, destroying property and burning homes[i]. “The government of Kenya is forcing us into extinction," he said.[ii] According to international human rights law such as the Convention on Genocide, forced relocation of ethnic or racial minorities is a very grave violation and can constitute genocide.
12 March, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nairobi - The No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN) and hundreds of international allies strongly condemn the massive evictions and forced relocation of the Sengwer People, as well as World Bank-funded REDD, a land-grabbing forest offset scam, in Kenya’s Cherangany Hills.
In an open letter to the United Nations and the Kenyan government, the No REDD in Africa Network states that, “the forced relocation of the Sengwer People proves the urgency of canceling REDD.” NRAN is also calling for the creation of an International Truth Commission on the forced relocation of the Sengwer People and abuses associated with REDD and carbon offsets throughout the world.
January 31, 2014
(Forest guards arrive in Kenya's Embobut Forest in preparation for the evictions. © FPP)
Last year the Government of Kenya was getting “ready” for REDD in the Embobut Forest, now it is violently evicting the Sengwer People and forcing them “into extinction.” According to Survival International, “as many as a thousand homes have already been torched.”[i]
Sengwer spokesman Yator Kiptum denounced the “disaster” caused by combined force of the Kenya Forest Service and Administration Police, a paramilitary unit of the police, which is now evicting the Sengwer not just from the Embobut Forest but from the entirety of the Cherangany Hills, destroying property and burning homes. “The government of Kenya is forcing us into extinction," he said.[ii]