Endorois' consent should be obtained regarding decisions over their lands

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) welcomes the adoption by the World Heritage Committee of a decision requiring the government of Kenya to ‘ensure full and effective participation of the Endorois in the management of Lake Bogoria through their own representative institutions.'

In November 2013, MRG -in collaboration with the Endorois Welfare Council, Forest Peoples Programme and IWGIA-, wrote to UNESCO to express their continued concerns over the designation of the Lake Bogoria as a World Heritage Site without obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of the Endorois, who are the rightful owners of the land in and around the site.

This follows on from the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights' February 2010 decision that the Endorois are the rightful owners of the land in and around Lake Bogoria, that the Government of Kenya must return such land to them, and that the Endorois have the right to benefit from existing economic activities on the land.

In spite of this decision, on 24 June 2011 the World Heritage Committee inscribed Lake Bogoria on the World Heritage List without seeking the Endorois' participation and consent. In 2012, the African Commission expressed its concern that such consent was not sought.

On June 19, 2014 UNESCO issued a resolution establishing that adequate consultation and participation of indigenous peoples should be ensured and their free, prior and informed consent obtained, in relation to development of their territories.

Source: Minority Rights Group International. More info here

The ESCR-Net's Working Group on Strategic Litigation has worked since 2012 with Endorois Welfare Council (EWC), Minority Rights Group International (MRG) and NGOs in Kenya and Latin America, including KHRC, KLA, Dejusticia and CEMIRIDE for the implementation of the 2010 recommendations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' rights on the Endorois case". More info on this case here