The pastoral Maasai primarily depend on livestock keeping for their subsistence which requires access to grazing land and water for maintaining their traditional systems. Mobility is fundamental to control rangeland degradation and sustain pastoralism. Current land related planning policies, legislation, combined with increasing privatization of land within the rangelands in Tanzania are considered by some to be triggering the demise of pastoralism, suppressing the pastoralist Maasai rights to access, use and manage their common grazing land.
Lillian will draw both from personal experience of being part of the Maasai community in northern Tanzania and from her experiences working for, and leading, CORDS, a not for profit organisation established to promote the rights of Maasai pastoralists. She will explain current land and food insecurities of the Massai. Land use change in northern Tanzania is a contentious topic. Lillian will provide context to this in terms of past and current planning priorities in Tanzania, concepts of food security and emerging global challenges.
Lilian has over 12 years experience working on livelihood and land rights issues for rural communities in Tanzania and providing indigenous representation at international conferences and committees globally. Many of you will be aware that the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007, to provide a universal framework of minimum survival standards for the dignity and well-being of the world’s indigenous peoples.
Lilian is in the UK this week visiting African Initiatives, in Bristol. Via Comic Relief funding, CORDS and African Initiatives are developing together a new girls’ education programme for DFID’s Girls Education Challenge fund (a focus on out-of-school pastoralist girls). A substantial proportion of Lilian’s work is focused on projects to help Maasai women secure their land and their rights.
CORDS is a non profit making civil society organization based in Arusha Tanzania. It was established in 1998 to promote the rights of pastoralists’ Maasai towards rights to own and manage productive and key resources. CORDS works to find sustainable solutions through land rights and governance; education; gender and women empowerment; building resilience on climate change effects and develops an leads research programs to meet the needs of the target groups.
CORDS has been engaging regionally and at the UN level to promote and give voice to indigenous peoples concerns including those of the Maasai. CORDS has representation as: * observer at the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) * UN-REDD -Indigenous representative for Africa (2009-2015) * Focal Point on the NY Declaration on Forest this year (2017)