Green Colonialisms’ Effects on Pastoralist and Indigenous Women in East Africa


6:30 to 7:45 a.m., Nov. 3, 2023

Green Colonialisms’ Effects on Pastoralist and Indigenous Women in East Africa

A Listening Session

Friday, November 3, 2023, 8:30-9:45 a.m. (EST) / 6:30-7:45 a.m. (MST)

3:30 – 4:45 pm (EAT)


  1. Resiato Selyan Lambaka, Maasai Feminist Activist, Tanzania
  2. Rose Memuti, Maasai Activist, Loliondo, Tanzania
  3. Neema Seki, Massai Activist, Ngorongoro, Tanzania 
  4. Kakunda Sylvia, Founder and CEO Action for Batwa Empowerment Group, Member of Land Boyd Ecologies 
  5. Chebet Monica, Benet Mosop Community Association (BMCA), Uganda
  6. Chelangat Sharon, Benet Mosop Community Association (BMCA), Uganda
  7. Theresa Chemosop, Facilitator East Africa Women-led Assembly from Ogiek Chepkitale Kenya
  8. Albina, East Africa Women-Led Assembly, Ogiek, Kenya
  9. Elisa Marchi, Legal Advisor for the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, University of Arizona
  10. Seánna Howard, Director, International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop; Associate Clinical Professor; University of Arizona
  11. Ivana Radačić, Vice-Chair of the UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls, Research Advisor, Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences
  12. José Francisco Calí Tzay, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Guatemala

Roundtable Organizer

William Paul Simmons, Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies, Director of Human Rights Practice Program, University of Arizona

While most of the major players on the world stage have praised the recent push for 30% of the earth’s land and sea to become conservation areas by 2030, indigenous peoples have pushed back citing decades of human rights abuses stemming from similar but more local initiatives. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of indigenous peoples has recently warned of increasing abuses stemming from conservation, ecotourism, and the push for additional UNESCO cultural heritage sites. Persecution and dispossession of indigenous peoples in the name of environmental protection has been referred to as “green colonialism” (Sasa 2023, Dorn 2022) or “fortress conservation” (Rai 2021, Brockington 2002), and there are several ongoing tragic examples in East Africa.  Recent reports have shown that women and girls are most adversely affected by green colonialism, but their voices are rarely heard.  In this roundtable three women from indigenous peoples in East Africa will discuss the impacts of green colonialism on themselves and their communities with three experts who work with the UN Special Procedures.

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William Paul Simmons