In Africa, owing to a lifestyle that is culturally and collectively dependent on land and its natural resources, indigenous peoples are adversely affected by climate change. This is despite the fact that they contribute least to its cause. While this situation requires the protection of indigenous peoples’ land tenure and use, this is generally not yet the reality in the domestic laws of states in Africa. Premised on four propositions, this article makes a case for a regional policy to safeguard indigenous peoples’ land tenure and use in the light of climate change challenge in Africa. In the main, the propositions are: the indigenous peoples have a distinctive perception of land tenure and use relevant for adaptation and mitigation purposes; the land tenure and use is adversely affected by climate change; there is weak protection of indigenous peoples’ land tenure and use under the national and international climate change response frameworks, particularly the National Adaptation Programmes Plan of Action (napa) documentation as well as land-related Clean Development Mechanism (cdm) and redd+ mitigation initiatives; and there are emerging regional activities with the potential to crystallise into a statement of policy. The proposed policy which should embody detailed normative and institutional safeguards on land tenure and use, the article recommends, can be initiated by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (amcen) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) for the protection of indigenous peoples facing the adverse impact of climate change in Africa.
Quan and Dyersupra note 71 pp. 7–8; L. A. Crippa ‘redd+: Its Potential to melt Glacial Resistance to recognise Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights at the World Bank’ in Abate and Kronk supra note 5 p. 123; Abate and Kronk supra note 5 pp. 5–8.
Gorte and Sheikhsupra note 71 p. 1; Toulmin supra note 1 pp. 74–75.
Barumesupra note 69; see also Toulmin supra note 1 p. 77.
Barumesupra note 69 pp. 68–70; M. M. Cernea and K. Schmidt-Soltau ‘Poverty Risks and National Parks: Policy Issues in Conservation and Resettlement’ 34:10 World Development (2006) pp. 1808–1830.
Colchestersupra note 105 p. 5.
Cernea and Schmidt-Soltausupra note 106; Kidd and Kenrick supra note 20 pp. 10–11.
Working Group Reportsupra note 8 p. 18.
Working Group Reportsupra note 8 p. 16.
Tebtebba Foundationsupra note 115 p. 481.
Working Group Reportsupra note 8 pp. 18–19.
Working Group Reportsupra note 8 p. 17.
Warnersupra note 127 p. 27.
Abate and Konksupra note 5 p. 10; Crippa supra note 72.
Toulminsupra note 1 p. 128; however the benefit of the cdm particularly in relation to afforestation and reforestation has been questioned for promoting large monoculture tree plantations in the veil of afforestation and reforestation. In addition the benefits of forest carbon projects under the cdm for the poor are doubted because of the low carbon price and its trade off with competing activities in support of local needs see B. Fischer et al. ‘Implementation and opportunity costs of reducing deforestation and forest degradation in Tanzania’ Nature Climate Change (2011) pp. 161–164; C. Mbow Could Carbon buy Food? The Stakes of Mitigation versus Adaptation to Climate Change in African Countries 5 GLP News Letter (2009) pp. 20–23.
Toulminsupra note 1 p. 130.
Uganda Land Act1998Article 44.
Nigeria Land Use Act1990Articles 1 and 5 respectively vest land in the presidency and the governors.
Zambia Land Act1995Article 3 vests ownership of land in the presidency to keep in trust for Zambians.
Tanzania Land Act1999Article 1(1) (a).
The Constitution of Kenya2010hereafter referred to as Constitution of Kenya.
Tanzania Forest Act2002Article 47(g).
Agideesupra note 178 p. 21.
Toulminsupra note 1.
Central African Reportsupra note 214 p. 13.
Resolution 153supra note 216 see recital section generally.