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Call on UNESCO for violation of Endorois’ rights

November 19 2013
IWGIA with Minority Rights Group International (MRG), Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and Endorois Welfare Council (EWC) has sent a letter to the World Heritage Center (UNESCO) regarding the designation of the Lake Bogoria site as a World Heritage Site without obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of the Endorois community.

Based on the facts that despite several requests to consult with the community, the Endorois were not included in the UNESCO inscription process (finalized in June 2011) and that since the inscription the Endorois have similarly been denied the opportunity to be involved in the management of Lake Bogoria, without receiving any share of the benefits.

The four signatories of the letter call UNESCO and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to raise the following concerns with the World Heritage Committee in the form of a SOC report on the Kenya Lake System:

• The need for the Government of Kenya to ensure the effective participation of the Endorois in the management and decision-making of Lake Bogoria within the Kenya Lake System World Heritage area, through the Endorois’ representative institutions, most notably the EWC;

• The need for the Government of Kenya to fully implement the ACHPR Endorois decision with respect to Lake Bogoria without any further delay; and

• The need for suitable mechanisms to be put in place by the Government of Kenya to ensure that the Endorois community receives appropriate economic benefits from the activities within the Kenya Lake System.