Through my experience with the Endorois community, I learned the significance of indigenous communities leading the conservation efforts while receiving support from the government
Through my experience with the Endorois community, I learned the significance of indigenous communities leading the conservation efforts while receiving support from the government. The coexistence of wildlife, land, and communities has been ongoing for generations, although climate change has increased conflicts over limited resources. The Endorois community emphasizes the importance of recognizing that community-managed land promotes the best ecosystems at a national level.
Usually, land is privatized for wildlife conservation, which often leads to the eviction of indigenous communities from their ancestral land, and external actors reaping financial gains from their efforts. The Endorois community seeks an alternative approach that teaches them how to manage their resources and coexist with wildlife, suited for conservation and adapting to changing climates. In doing so, the community can benefit from the protection of the land they have cared for over generations. They maintain that their connection to the land provides a stronger incentive to protect it than external actors employed to do the same job.
Furthermore, the Endorois community expressed concerns about businesses and researchers exploiting their land's precious resources without providing any benefits to the community. Therefore, they advocate for implementing mechanisms to give back to the community and their land. The goal is to achieve a balance between wildlife and human needs, empowering indigenous communities for sustainable conservation practices.
From Adversity to Opportunity - Honey Making in Endorois
The Endorois community has found a way to generate income through honey making. They skillfully craft beehives from tree trunks which are then polished and filled with bee's wax, eggshells, and other ingredients to attract bees. The sweet and delicious honey is sold by the roadside, providing much-needed financial resources for the community.
Interestingly, one of the tree trunks used by the Endorois for their beehives is from the prosopis tree. This tree species is known for producing high-quality honey. In the 1990s, the FAO initiated an anti-desertification program that involved planting thousands of prosopis trees. While the program aimed to combat desertification, the fast-growing prosopis trees colonized the indigenous trees and took over the land. Moreover, these trees caused significant harm to goats, making them lose their teeth.
The community was not happy about the situation and took the FAO to court over the project, but unfortunately, they lost. However, the Endorois community has turned this adversity into an opportunity. They have transformed the trunks of the invasive prosopis trees into beehives for honey making. In doing so, they have found a way to generate income while also addressing the negative impact of the prosopis trees.
In conclusion, the Endorois community has shown resilience and resourcefulness in turning a bad situation into a positive outcome. Through honey making, they have found a sustainable way to support themselves while also contributing to the conservation of the environment.