Pastoralism & extractive industries in Eastern Africa

At the 2013 CELEP meeting, attention was drawn to the increasing potential of conflict between pastoralists, government agencies and the private sector involved in extractive industries. A current pressing case is the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project, a major infrastructure development project that will affect Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia. The project’s potential negative impacts on pastoralists include loss of land and natural resources, increased conflict and threats to pastoralist livelihoods and production systems. These impacts are due to haphazard extraction of resources, takeover of territories by government and companies, lack of recognition of pastoralists’ rights to use the land and natural resources, and failure to include pastoralists and other natural resource users in designing and implementing projects within their territories. Pastoralists in eastern Africa want to be effectively represented in decision-making structures related to extractive industries and are seeking accountability from government and other actors in these industries. The Kenyan Pastoralist Development Network (PDN) blog “Securing the rights of pastoralist indigenous peoples in the implementation of the LAPSSET project” urges the Kenyan government to develop guidelines on how to handle the concerns of local communities in the LAPSSET corridor according to the Kenyan constitutional safeguards and international human rights standards.

Further general documents of extractives, not directly linked to pastoralism but definitely important for it, are: i) the 2012 annual report of the World Bank Group in Extractive Industries, which shows what the World Bank is doing with respect to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in different countries (see the annex to get a clear picture for Africa); and ii) the report of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) thematic group on the good governance of extractive and land resources “Harnessing natural resources for sustainable development: challenges and solutions” (2013), which shows what the SDSN is advising the United Nations on issues around extractives and land.

Posted on 11 January 2014 in Pastoralism & Extractives, Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition