Tuesday, October 24, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM EDT
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Ronald Reagan Bldg and International Trade Center 
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Room 3.09-10
Washington, DC 20004

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Rebecca Goodman 
Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group 

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Piloting New Approaches for Securing Tenure in Three Critical Ecosystems in Africa 

The Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group's Land and Resource Tenure Rights (LRTR) working group is developing and testing strategies and tools that place greater land and resource management authority in the hands of local resource users, thus creating incentives for them to exercise their authority in ways that are consistent with biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of renewable resources. The task members are piloting new approaches for securing tenure in three critical ecosystems: Greater Mahale Ecosystem, Tanzania (The Nature Conservancy, The Jane Goodall Institute); Kilombero Valley, Tanzania (African Wildlife Foundation, World Resources Institute); and Kabobo Reserve, DRC (Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund). These ecosystems are anchors for biodiversity that support livelihoods for growing local populations.   

The LRTR working group will share interim results from studies aimed at strengthening rights and securing tenure, especially over community lands managed as common property. The findings and outcomes of these pilot studies will have important implications for other communities and conservationists working across the continent.

Speaker Bios:


Peter Veit is the Director of the Land and Resource Rights (LRR) initiative at The World Resources Institute. LRR seeks to strengthen land tenure and natural resource rights of rural people and communities by: 1) conducting research and generating new knowledge on critical property rights issues; 2) developing information platforms, including an online platform to document community rights; 3) participating in and contributing to policy and legislative reform processes; and 4) building the capacity of civil society organizations and other actors. Peter is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of International Advanced Studies, Johns Hopkins University.        

 For more than 25 years, Peter has worked on a range of environmental governance matters, particularly environment/democracy and environment/human rights links. He has conducted research and written on community-based natural resource management, environmental decentralization, environmental advocacy, and other environmental accountability matters. Peter has undertaken long-term field research in a number of African countries, including in Sierra Leone as a Fulbright Scholar, where he conducted research on household variability in agricultural strategies and practices; and, in Rwanda as Director of the Karisoke Mountain Gorilla Research Center, where in the 1970s he studied the behavior of mountain gorillas. Peter has also held a range of research and teaching positions at the University of California campuses at Santa Cruz and Davis.                   

Deo Kujirakwinja
is the Kabobo Project Manager
  at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). He has been working with WCS for the last 14 years in the eastern DRC as a field researcher and Project Manager. He holds a Masters’ Degree from Cape Town and a Degree in Development Studies from the DRC. Currently, he is enrolled at Rhodes University (South Africa) in the Department of Environmental Science for his PhD program.     

During his career with WCS, Deo has been working in the conflict and post-conflict context in the Eastern DRC. After supporting WCS projects in eastern DRC, he runs the Kabobo Project where he was involved in the gazettement of Kabobo Wildlife Reserve and setting up the collaborative management of the reserve with other stakeholders. Additionally, he supports the establishment of SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) in protected areas all over the DRC.   


Ponjoli Joram Kabepele is a Program Director for Tuungane – a partnership project between The Nature Conservancy and Pathfinder International. He is a Landscape Ecologist who has worked with a University, the Tanzania government,  a Bilateral Organization, a Consultancy firm, a Private timber company and now an NGO. Joram’s primary area of focus is on determination of best ways to scale up PHE (Population, Health and Environment) into local authorities’ planning.