Enabling access to international arenas is a fundamental part of Swedwatch’s work to support human rights and environmental defenders and amplify the voices of vulnerable groups. At Swedwatch´s side event at COP27 in November, indigenous defender Ramson Karmushu from our partner organisation in Kenya, will be one of the speakers addressing the need for a just energy transition. 

Due to dependence upon the environment and its resources, many indigenous communites are hit hard by climate change and thus have a crucial interest in supporting urgent climate actions. Yet, there is a risk that indigenous people are left behind if the transition away from fossil fuels focuses only on being fast, and not also just. Ramson Karmushu, who represents the Indigenous Movement for Peace and Transformation in Northern Kenya (IMPACT) is himself Masai and works directly with indigenous communities currently affected by the rapid expansion of renewable energy in the region.

"To be able to discuss those issues at international forums is important. COP27 is an opportunity for me to bring forward how indigenous peoples and other local communities are affected by climate change, and also by the measures taken to curb it."

IMPACT42 medium
IMPACT is a grassroots social movement active in the Northern Frontiers of Kenya – including in Laikipia, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu and parts of Turkana County – home to a considerable proportion of the country's indigenous peoples.

He explains that renewable energy projects such as wind power built on indigenous land has caused harm and conflict since communities are not consulted and get no compensation for lost resources, nor do they benefit from the projects and many still lack electricity. At COP27, Ramson Karmushu says he will also discuss how indigenous peoples and other local communities are now trying to combat climate change effects and that "the little actions matter."

"Indigenous peoples need support on a global scale to protect the planet. I hope that by discussing this in person on arenas where it matters, and with the right audience, we will be able to influence a great change."


Swedwatch's official COP27 side event
Swedwatch´s and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation´s (SSNC) joint COP27 side event, taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh at November 16, will focus on just transition and the importance of putting indigenous people and local communities at the centre of energy transition processes. The event will centre around cases presented by African CSOs, including IMPACT (above) and South African environmental justice group Groundwork.

  • Focus Areas: High-risk and conflict areas
  • Industry: Energy
  • Publication: Article
  • Region: Middle East and Africa

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