Following the Community Land Act of 2016, Kenyan communities have worked towards formalizing their land rights. This project will contribute to conditions that allow for more sustainable land management, including security of tenure, stronger plans and institutions of land governance, negotiation of land-sharing agreements and mediation of conflicts between communities.
Proponents: Community Land Action Now! (CLAN)
An estimated 940,000 people, men, women and children who comprise the members of 50 project partner communities and include representation of pastoralist communities (on trust lands and group ranches)
forest hunter-gatherer communities
Indirectly the project could benefit 10 million pastoralists and agro-pastoralists seeking collective title
160,000 forest peoples who self-identify as Indigenous, and 50,000 members of fisher-farming communities
Around half of Kenya’s land area is thought to be community land. Through colonization, rights over communal land were subordinated to the interests of state and private rights. The process of land seizure, sub-division and selling continued in the post-colonial era, however in 2010 Kenya’s new constitution recognized ‘community land’ as a new classification equivalent to freehold. A process for registering this land was then laid down in the Community Land Act (CLA) of 2016.
The majority of the project’s partner communities live in arid regions and their traditional nomadic pastoralist and agro-pastoralist livelihoods are adapted to the unpredictability of this harsh environment. However, land use transitions for conservation, mining, energy projects and defense purposes have reduced access to land. These changing land use patterns and pressures have undermined traditional systems for sharing resources between communities, such as allowing transit and temporary grazing rights, resulting in increased competition and conflicts between communities. On-going conflicts have resulted in degradation of resources, and are perpetuated because communities lack access to information concerning their rights. Practical and progressive approaches are also lacking globally, and there is a lack of empowerment and negotiations with land-dependent communities.
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