INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES PARTICIPATE IN THE NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION PLAN FOR THE FIRST TIMEAugust 14, 2023
MARGINALISED COMMUNITIES (INDIGENOUS PEOPLES) KEY PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2023August 23, 2023
SAFEGUARDING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE AMENDMENT ACT 2023
NAIROBI, 23rd August 2023.
Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE), Transparency International Kenya (TI-Kenya), and the African Group of Negotiators Expert Support (AGNES) submitted a joint memorandum on the Climate Change (Amendment) Bill,2023 to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, on 26th May 2023 that contained suggestions to safeguard the rights of indigenous peoples in climate action.
Kenya recognises the existence of Indigenous Peoples through Article 260 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The identification of marginalised communities in Article 260 echoes the key characteristic of African indigenous communities which is that the survival of their way of life depends on access and rights to their traditional land and the natural resources thereon.
One of the most noticeable amendments that have a direct bearing on indigenous peoples is the proposed deletion of reference to Article 260. Section 6 of the Amendment Bill provides for “deleting the words” within the meaning of Article 260 of the Constitution in regards to “who has knowledge and experience in matters relating to indigenous knowledge”. This directly denies indigenous peoples the opportunity to be effectively represented in critical climate change discussions, as was intended by Article 56 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. If the proposed amendment bill is passed as it is, this will be unconstitutional.
We are disappointed that the proposals that were given, have not been captured in the bill that was later presented to parliament. No reasons have been provided as to why these proposals were not considered by the Ministry. The second reading of the bill was conducted yesterday on 22/08/2023 and the expectation was that once introduced in parliament, Kenyans would be given ample time and room for public participation to further interact with the proposed amendments. The bill is scheduled to be presented to the House this afternoon after which it will proceed to the third reading without public participation. Why the rush? This is against the requirement of effective public participation in a matter that will have such a profound impact on people’s lives.
The proposed law focuses on carbon markets and the appointment of representatives of non-state actors to the council. We believe the scope should accommodate others that have not been implementable since the Parent Act was enacted. Other than the Council, it has not been possible to establish and operationalize the Climate Change Fund provided for under Section 25 of the Parent Act. Indigenous peoples in Kenya (pastoralists, fisher communities, and forest peoples), occupy almost 85 percent of Kenya’s landmass and continue to face devastating impacts of climate change. According to the National Drought Management Authority data, the country has endured three severe droughts in the past decade. The 2020-2022 drought is the worst in 40 years. Some 2.5 million livestock have died because of drought countrywide, with 4.3 million people needing food assistance. With a healthy cow costing about KES 60,000, this was about Sh150,000 trillion lost!
The climate variability and change which present itself in the form of unpredictable and extreme weather significantly threaten the livelihoods among these communities therefore the climate change proposal should factor in their contributions, as key stakeholders in the process and call for public participation to onboard them in the decision-making process.
For further information or to organise for interviews, please contact:
Name: Grace Kananu