Biodiversity Fellow

Phoebe Ndiema


Coming from Indigenous community is a challenge and privilege at the same time especially being a woman. Waking up everyday and facing challenge of not being able to address issues affecting community such as tenure issues, advocating for clean environment etc was the biggest tussle to women since it was perceived to be a man's role.

Being a young woman, with little knowledge, I decided to look for an avenue that will give me space to air out my views without being attacked in line with my gender.

Chepkitale Indigenous People Development Project(CIPDP) one of the local Non governmental organization in Kenya fighting for issues of Ogiek community in Chepkitale, gave me the platform.

My interest is on mapping as tenure advocacy tool, inter-generation documentation of indigenous knowledge and gender justice programs.

Research Interests



Leading a project on mapping Ogiek people resources is the best opportunity for me to understanding our ancestral land

The mapping process involve the use of Mapeo application that was developed by Digital Democracy with experts on mapping from Forest People’s Program. Working under this consortium makes everyday of my life to be a learning experience.

I’ve been taking lead of the process where all resources based on community customary spatial plan ie land, Rivers, schools, forests are captured in the application and map developed.

The map gives clear reflection of how conservation is being adhered to hence remedies to be taken incase of any destruction.

Maps produced also are used as advocacy tools in courts and any government agencies on why Ogiek community are the owners of Chepkitale since time immemorial. This work is a continuous process and planning how to achieve this on daily basis build a great passion in me on actively taking centre position on community issues.

History Documentation/Indigenous Knowledge Documentation

They say you can only know where you’re going if you know where you’re coming from.

Documenting history of Ogiek community of Chepkitale made me realize who we are and need of keeping the information for future generation.

Waking up to research little on who we are gave me energy to check in to the work station and do the task. History has helped me and many others to have basis on our struggles especially the elders who have been representing the community in law courts.

Through history Documentation, I’m able to understand that our ancestors viewed environment differently ie shelter, food, friend and source of medicine. These reasons were enough to conserve it hence explains the reason why environment was never tampered with during their time.

In general, the organization has given me best platform to know who we are and what we want as a community.

Gender Justice Programs

I am taking lead in projects that involve women in community activities which are categorized into thematic areas main ones being Leadership and governance, Documentation of Indigenous Knowledge, Capacity building programs, Economic Empowerment and Women in Mapping.

Current Research

Through Transformative Pathways project, I had a privilege of being a  fellow for a period of three months here in Oxford under ICCS to develop a community led monitoring system of Ogiek people Biodiversity.

I will also engage in developing learning material for Ogiek kids with collection of wide biodiversity from the community.

I have keen interest also In visiting museums around the university to learn any historical artefacts from Ogiek people.

Brief CV

I have been working with Chepkitale Indigenous People Development Project (CIPDP) since 2018 as Gender Justice and Mapping Officer. The main objective of this organization is to protect the Ogiek people of chepkitale from any form of injustices through dialogues and if need be, through judicial systems.

My work is developing advocacy tools through mapping and documentations, holding and participating in community meetings and also creating awareness on existing and upcoming government projects and their potential impacts to the community.


2022: Certification of Monitoring and Evaluation program from Kenya Institute of Management.



BSc. Community Development and Environment.

Second Class Upper Division