From 5-7 July, Natural Justice and Kivulini Trust facilitated a biocultural community protocol (BCP) training workshop for the Borana pastoralist community of the Waso Rangelands, Kenya. The increase in development projects, wildlife conservation areas and influx of other groups in Waso has contributed to the loss of the Borana’s traditional lands and diminished grazing areas for their livestock. This continued loss has led to a slow decline in their traditional institutions, customs and norms as members of the community are forced to choose other livelihood options. This change has also negatively impacted the biodiversity in the area, which was conserved and sustainably used by the communities through their traditional pastoralist practices.
The BCP training in Waso was attended by a number of the community members, including elders, women, youth and NGOs supporting the community. The BCP process, or Fin Jiru Gumi Waso (Wellbeing of the Waso Community in KiBorana), will combine with a number of ongoing projects in the region which seek to protect the community’s resources and culture. The process will highlight the community’s customary laws and norms around biodiversity conservation, inform the community of their relevant international and national biocultural rights, establish representative bodies to dialogue with government or private enterprises interested in utilizing the resources and/or traditional knowledge on their traditional lands, and create a platform for discussion with neighbouring communities in the interest of peacebuilding. This initiative is supported by the Christensen Fund.