Thursday, December 3, 2020
A group photo of  part of the participants  attending the dialogue meeting

A group photo of part of the participants attending the dialogue meeting

Some non-governmental organizations are sabotaging environment conservation efforts by engaging in falsehoods that earn them foreign financial assistance, PS Dr.Richard Lesiyampe has disclosed.

The NGO’s seek funds from donors abroad under the pretext that they promoted human rights for the local forest dependent communities evicted from water towers and other conservation areas they previously occupied.

At the same time, Dr. Lesiyampe announced that the government’s initiative of forestry reforms had achieved positive results through engaging forest dependent communities in conservation.

He said the Government was determined to solve long standing socio-economic hardships facing the communities, through dialogue that will promote their rights to access forest products alongside protecting the water catchment areas.

The PS welcomed foreign assistance in environmental conservation efforts but warned that the process will only be driven by the Government which is working with the local communities to improve their livelihood.

Dr. Lesiyampe was reacting to claims that government had instigated evictions were being carried out in Embobut forest at a time when a round table dialogue with leaders of the minority  Sengwer,Ogiek, Ichamus and Eldrois had kicked off.

The government initiated negotiations seeks to resolve the persistent conflict between the authorities and the local communities over occupation of water catchment and conservation areas.

Dr Lesiyampe recently ordered an aerial inspection of the Embobut forest by a team comprising community representatives, county governments, Kenya forest service, World Bank Officials, members of the press among other stakeholders who confirmed that no fresh evictions had been carried out.

 Following the dialogue, the communities’ representatives expressed their desire to conserve the environment if they were allowed to earn their livelihood from forests products.

The PS confirmed that the government would no longer destroy property belonging to members of the forest dependent communities adding that the Ministry had initiated forestry reforms that would promote harmony between people and forests.

The reforms will be undertaken through  the ongoing development of national forest programme, whose principles include recognition of customary rights of indigenous people and forest dependent communities he observed

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