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Indigenous peoples in Uganda release landmark document outlining their rights

At the end of three intense days of discussion, exchange and drafting, representatives from the Ik, Tepeth, Batwa, Benet and Ngikarimajong have released the Kisoro Memorandum, a definitive statement of their rights and expectations for support from their government and from other actors, including the UN system.

The Batwa Petition Before Uganda's Constitutional Court

Author: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU)

On 8th February 2013, the Batwa of Uganda submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court of Uganda seeking recognition of their status as indigenous peoples under international law and redress for the historic marginalisation and continuous human rights violations they have experienced as a result of being dispossessed of their ancestral forest lands by the government.

Before their eviction, the Batwa had lived in the forest since immemorial times. The measures taken to remove the Batwa, to create ‘environmentally protected’ areas, and to limit access and use of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Echuya Central Forest Reserve, resulted in the violation of the Batwa’s property rights over their ancestral lands. While colonial protection of the forest started in the 1920s, most Batwa continued to live in the forest and to use its resources until the 1990s; when they were evicted, without consultation, adequate compensation or offer of alternative land.

PETISI MASYARAKAT BATWA KEPADA MAHKAMAH KONSTITUSI UGANDA

Penulis: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU)Pada tanggal 8 Februari 2013, masyarakat Batwa dari Uganda mengajukan petisi ke Mahkamah Konstitusi Uganda mencari pengakuan atas status mereka sebagai masyarakat adat menurut hukum internasional dan menuntut ganti rugi atas marginalisasi di masa lalu dan pelanggaran hak asasi manusia terus-menerus yang mereka alami sebagai akibat dari perampasan tanah hutan leluhur mereka oleh pemerintah.

FPP E-Newsletter December 2013 (PDF Version)

Dear Friends,

What are the prospects for securing the land rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, and women in the foreseeable future?

Significantly, the report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, under Goal 1 to “End Poverty”, sets a target to “Increase by x% the share of women and men, communities, and businesses with secure rights to land, property, and other assets”.

FPP E-Newsletter July 2013 (PDF Version)

Dear Friends,

Mutual recognition, mutual respect and mutual benefit are among the desirable attributes of all human relationships. Indigenous peoples and other forest peoples also expect these qualities in their relationships with others – be they governments, private corporations, NGOs or other indigenous peoples’ organisations and communities. This issue of Forest Peoples Programme’s E-Newsletter reports on the state of various relationships between forest peoples and different institutions – as these are forged, tested or broken –in the course of assertions for upholding basic human rights, social justice and solidarity.

Lembar Berita Elektronik FPP Juli 2013 (versi PDF)

Teman-teman terhormat,

Saling mengakui, saling menghormati dan saling menguntungkan adalah atribut-atribut yang diinginkan dari semua hubungan manusia. Masyarakat adat dan masyarakat-masyarakat hutan lainnya juga mengharapkan hal-hal ini dalam hubungan mereka dengan orang lain – apakah dengan pemerintah, perusahaan swasta, NGO atau organisasi masyarakat adat dan komunitas lainnya. Edisi Lembar Berita Elektronik Forest Peoples Programme kali ini melaporkan keadaan hubungan-hubungan antara masyarakat hutan dengan berbagai lembaga – seraya hubungan-hubungan ini dibina, diuji atau pecah – dalam perjalanan penegasan untuk menegakkan hak asasi manusia, keadilan sosial dan solidaritas.

Latest submission to the Convention on Biological Diversity

FPP and Natural Justice organised a joint submission to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in response to a request for contributions from Parties and stakeholders about the CBD’s programme of work that deals with traditional knowledge about biodiversity (Article 8j). 

Pengajuan terbaru untuk Konvensi Keanekaragaman Hayati

Pada April 2013 FPP dan Natural Justice membuat sebuah usulan bersama kepada Sekretariat Konvensi Keanekaragaman Hayati (CBD) dalam menanggapi sebuah permintaan untuk berperan serta dari para Pihak dan stakeholder tentang program kerja CBD yang berhubungan dengan pengetahuan tradisional tentang keanekaragaman hayati (Pasal 8j).

Batwa indigenous people gain more skills in gender

A gender workshop organised in Kisoro, south-western Uganda, from the 19-21 November 2012 that aimed to initiate indigenous people in general aspects of gender, has ended successfully.

The workshop was facilitated by the United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU) and Forest Peoples Programme and hosted fifty Batwa men and women from the districts of Kanungu, Mbarara, Kabale and Kisoro. Youngsters aged 14 - 20 also attended the workshop.

Masyarakat adat Batwa memperoleh ketrampilan lebih banyak tentang gender

Sebuah lokakarya gender yang diselenggarakan di Kisoro, di kawasan barat daya Uganda, pada tanggal 19-21 November 2012 dan ditujukan untuk mengenalkan aspek-aspek umum gender kepada masyarakat adat,  telah berakhir dengan sukses.

Lokakarya tersebut difasilitasi oleh United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU) dan Forest Peoples Programme dan dihadiri oleh lima puluh laki-laki dan perempuan Batwa dari distrik Kanungu, Mbarara, Kabale dan Kisoro. Kaum muda berusia 14 - 20 juga ikut menghadiri lokakarya tersebut. 

FPP E-Newsletter December 2012 (PDF Version)

Dear Friends,

The importance of ensuring respect for the rights of forest peoples’ to control their forests, lands and livelihoods, becomes ever clearer and yet more contested. As the articles in this edition of our newsletter starkly reveal, land and resource grabs are not just being imposed by commercial developers but are being actively promoted by governments, whose principle responsibility should be to protect the rights of citizens. Yet these same impositions are also being resisted, sometimes at great personal cost, by local communities and indigenous peoples.

Ugandan Batwa complete 3-D Model of their Bwindi Forest ancestral area

In 2009 a group of Batwa representatives from Uganda travelled to Ogiek communities in Kenya to learn about their situation and the different advocacy strategies they were using. One of these strategies was the use of Participatory 3-Dimensional Modelling (P3DM), which helped the Ogiek engage Kenyan agencies on their rights to their ancestral territory, the Mau Forest. The Batwa walked away from this visit impressed by the simplicity of the P3DM technique and hopeful of replicating it in their own context.

Two years later in June 2011, the Batwa, with support from the ARCUS Foundation, began their own three-dimensional modelling of their ancestral territory, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  More than 100 representatives from the Batwa communities surrounding Bwindi, including youth, elders, women and men attended the exercise over a three-week period.