Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:53 AM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
"Wildlife conservation" buy implicated in eviction of native peoples
I've read accusations of this kind of thing before in Africa, implicating the World Wildlife Federation & others, but this is the first time I've come across an article that pinned down some of the specifics:
Kenya’s Laikipia district has been part of the traditional territory of the Samburu tribe for centuries until two US-based charities – The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) – agreed to pay $2 million for their land, which was officially owned by former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi.
Soon after, the Kenyan police began a series of brutal evictions of the tribe, burning their villages, killing and stealing their animals and assaulting men, women and children. Survival has recently received reports of an elder being shot ‘in cold blood’.
2,000 Samburu families now live in makeshift squats on the edge of the land and 1,000 others have been forced to relocate entirely. Conditions are appalling, and resources scarce. A Channel 4 documentary caught on camera the extreme nature of these evictions in the Eland Downs.
Although the case is still underway, AWF has recently ‘gifted’ the land to the Kenyan government in a move described by the Samburu as an ‘affront to the justice system’. The Minister for Forestry and Wildlife said in Parliament, ‘this piece of land was donated to us … we accepted the donation. This is in keeping with the need to preserve our wildlife which is an economic cash cow to us.’ The land supports a wide variety of species, including rare zebras and black rhinos, and the head of AWF has described Laikipia’s protection as the perfect way to ‘stimulate tourism’.
Bushman children arrested under renewed government repression
The children were jailed last week for being in possession of antelope meat in the CKGR....there have been a growing number of Bushmen arrests.
On Wednesday, wildlife scouts beat up and confiscated fruit and berries from one Bushman, Amogelang Segootsane, telling him the food is ‘for animals, not humans!’ He was being treated in hospital last week.
One Bushman told Survival, ‘The Bushmen are being hunted and their rights are being denied because of tourism (….) Police are given guns to go out and hunt and arrest Bushmen gathering bush food. The Bushmen of the CKGR cannot eat, cannot drink. How will they survive without food?’
The tribe relies on hunting game and gathering fruit and berries to feed their families. In 2006, the High Court confirmed the Bushmen’s right to live and hunt on their ancestral land in the CKGR, but not a single hunting license has been issued since.
They now risk starvation, or will be forced to rely on government handouts only available in the resettlement camps outside the reserve which they call ‘places of death’.
The Botswana government has repeatedly targeted the CKGR’s indigenous inhabitants, often citing wildlife conservation as its motive. Yet the Bushmen have survived for centuries alongside Botswana’s game.
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