Africa Regional Learning Exchange, Kenya

In Africa, protecting nature and conserving wildlife has often come at the expense of indigenous and local populations. Instead of working with communities, governments have fenced in ancestral lands to establish parks and reserves.

The approach has led to multiple rights violations and violent displacements, without even achieving the aim of protecting nature. But there are also more positive examples, where indigenous communities and governments are collaborating, or where communities are establishing reserves on their own.

These persistent challenges and search for alternatives are what guided our 2023 Africa Learning Exchange in Kenya. Participants shared experiences of displacement, imprisonment and exclusionary conservation, and discussed how communities instead can lead the way in protecting biodiversity and their lands. The growing market for carbon offsetting and its consequences were also discussed.

Click on the image to read the full report.

The five-day exchange held in October offered delegates a collaborative space to learn, inspire, discuss, and coordinate across countries to empower Indigenous Peoples and local communities in securing their land rights.

There were calls for continued collaboration among stakeholders, including government bodies, NGOs, and communities, to ensure the successful implementation of community-based conservation initiatives.

Co-hosted by Tenure Facility, our Kenyan partner Community Land Action Now! (CLAN!), and the International Land Coalition (ILC), the event saw nearly 150 participants from Tenure Facility partners and ILC members in Burkina Faso, Mali, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and more.

The programme began with visits to indigenous’ communities in Baringo, Narok, and Nakuru counties. These provided the opportunity to expand on selected thematic areas such as different pathways to securing tenure, community-led restoration and conservation efforts, water rights, economic development, conflict resolution and the ongoing effects of climate change.

The community visits were followed by three days of seminars, dialogues and workshops combining plenary and break-out sessions, an experience fair, and self-organised workshops by delegates themselves. A day with a specific focus on Kenya featured representatives from national government agencies as well as from communities sharing their insights and views.

Learning Exchanges

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