Collective ownership is key, says ‘Green Nobel’ winner

Now in his forties, Edward Loure, a Maasai tribal leader and indigenous land rights activist, grew up in the Simanjiro plains. The almost seven million acres of verdant grasslands flank Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, where communities of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers have lived off the land, in coexistence with migrating wildlife, for countless generations.

“Our land means everything to us. If we have no grass pastures, we will not have our cows, and without our cows, we cannot survive,” Loure tells Positive News, speaking via Skype from Dar es Salaam.

Loure was today awarded the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa – a sort of Nobel Prize for grassroots environmental activists – for pioneering a legal mechanism to preserve large expanses of ancestral lands in the Great Rift Valley, protecting both wildlife and a traditional way of life. The honour is, in part, a recognition of Loure’s pioneering effort to link tribal land rights campaigns to conservation work, creating a model that others, in Tanzania and around the world, are eager to follow.

Read the full article at Positive.News


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