Association for Law and Advocacy for Pastoralists


ALAPA’s work is organized around three programmes/thematic areas/departments namely: Human Rights Programme; Environment and Climate Change programme; and the Legal Aid programme.

Human Rights Programme:

ALAPA’s belief in  indivisibility and universality of Human Rights informs the organization’s activities which to a larger extent focus on domestic application of International Human Rights Instruments  as important tools for the protection of Rights of Pastoralists and Hunter Gatherers of Tanzania.  ALAPA advocates for the adoption, ratification, accession and, or domestication of important International Human Rights instruments that promote and protect rights of our target groups. At this time, ALAPA has particular interest in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Mechanism.

The Executive Director of ALAPA in a meeting at  the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations in Geneva. June 2011

E.Laltaika and E.Porokwa during a meeting on land rights for pastoralists and hunter gatherers jointly organized by alapa and pingos forum on 24th to 25th november 11 at SG resort. In Arusha

In collaboration with other pastoralist and hunter gatherer organizations, ALAPA has managed to make use of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Mechanism to advocate for the rights of its target group. This was through preparation and submission a stakeholder report to the UN Human Rights Council. Issues raised in the report include non recognition of indigenous peoples, recurrent forced evictions without compensation, land dispossession, lack of access to health care and education and forced destruction of cultural heritage.

Tanzania was reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its 12th Session held in Geneva from 3rd to 14th of October 2011.  After the Review, recommendations were issued, and a number of good recommendations were made dealing with the rights of indigenous peoples.

ALAPA has also successfully used “Reporting Procedure” under the United Nations Human Rights system for the promotion of rights of its target group. For example, since Tanzania has signed and ratified the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the country will be examined by the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) in September 2011.

In its pre-sessional working group which was held in Geneva from 5th to 9th of December 2011, the Committee prepared a list of questions for the United Republic of Tanzania, and ALAPA, operating as a member of the Coalition of Pastoralists and Hunter Gatherer Organizations sent a “list of issues” to the Committee as input for the questions.

In the “list of issues” which is available in the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights , the coalition asserts that Tanzania is in violation of the ICESCR as reflected in the recurrent incidences of forced evictions without compensation.

Tanzania is currently in the process of enacting a new Constitution. Under this framework, ALAPA has been on the front line articulating matters that are important for the future of pastoralism and which should be included in the proposed supreme law of the land. ALAPA in collaboration with PINGOs Forum organized a meeting on “50 YEARS OF STRUGGLES BY PASTORALISTS AND HUNTER GATHERERS FOR LAND RIGHTS: EXAMINING ACHIEVEMENTS, CHALLENGES AND THE PROPOSED NEW CONSTITUTION AS A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR THE WAY FORWARD.”

This meeting lead to the creation of “Katiba Initiative”, a coalition of pastoralists and hunter gatherer organizations committed to keeping an eye on the processes leading to the promulgation of the new Constitution in relation to the rights of pastoralists and hunter gatherers.

Environment and Climate Change Programme:

Since its inception, ALAPA has managed to make notable influence in the area of Environment Generally and particularly is aspects related to Climate Change and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forests Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) both Nationally, Regionally and Internationally.

For example, following successful lobby, ALAPA has been appointed to represent indigenous pastoralists and hunter gatherers of Tanzania in the Legal, Governance and Safeguards Unit of the National REDD Technical Working Group under the Vice Presidents Office (Division of Environment) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT) of the Government of Tanzania.

In addition, the founding Executive Director of ALAPA has served for three years as the first elected Indigenous Peoples Of Africa’s representative to the Policy Board of the UNREDD Program (a collaborative Programme of three Programmes of the United Nations namely UNEP, UNDP and FAO). He also served as member of the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank in the course of which he took part in reviewing the Readiness Preparation Proposal (RPP) of the Government of Tanzania.

In view of the above, ALAPA has the requisite technical capacity to asses and comment on whether the various programmes are indigenous peoples’ rights compliant and advocate for rights which have been or are on the brink of being abridged. ALAPA can ably articulate pastoralists’ and hunter gatherers’ vulnerability to climate change and its impacts, including policy measures for its mitigation in Tanzania.

Legal Aid Programme:

Due to the impacts of climate change, many pastoralists and hunter gatherers have been forced to immigrate to towns and cities where they are employed as night guards or engage in petty businesses. Most often than not, they encounter legal problems both civil and criminal in the course of living in the new environment with new neighbours and, or employers. On Daily basis, ALAPA has been providing legal assistance climate including contacting other parties such as the employers and the police officers on behalf of pastoralists and hunter gatherers.

ALAPA also assists in the registration of pastoralists and hunter gatherer NGOs and CSOs as well as building capacities of the said NGOs and CBOs in the area of law. In future, ALAPA envisions among other things, the establishment of PLACE (Pastoralists Legal Assistance Center) in each headquarters of the traditional pastoralist districts namely Ngorongoro, Longido, Monduli, Simanjiro, Kiteto and Hanang. These ‘PLACES’ will be tasked with monitoring and reporting violation of Pastoralists rights on the ground. The proposed ‘PLACES’ will be manned by full time lawyers and paralegals who will be responsible for providing legal assistance to pastoralists as well as implementing other objectives of ALAPA.