I am a geographer whose research concerns pastoralists’ seasonal migrations; the spatial and temporal components of their customary land rights; and how such flexible land rights could be accommodated, instead of being left out in the formal system of land administration and cadastres. Formal or statutory land tenures continue to expand in the Kenyan rangelands. And often, the formal law associated is ‘stronger’ than customary law. Social, environmental and economic effects due to reduced mobility have been substantial, yet pastoralism remains the dominant land use in the drylands. In my PhD thesis I pay close attention to the processes through which people gain access to statutory tenure (cadastral processes of adjudication, survey and registration). I argue that incorporating migration rights in the formal system requires inclusion during the adjudication process, and aligning those rights to the migration corridors and migration calendars. Legal empowerment would give pastoralists the opportunity to use the formal law to enforce their land rights if those rights are tampered with. Of course, flexibility for change of migration and grazing patterns needs to be taken into consideration, when necessary.
Mail: Monica Lengoiboni