A member of one of Cameroon’s Baka Communities in the Ngoyla Mintom area, talks about being driven out of his ancestral forests, and the issues his people face on a daily basis through lack of land rights and lack of access to food, medicine and education.
Communities in the Bajo Huallaga area of the Peruvian Amazon declared an “environmental and territorial emergency” on 16 September this year following serious and ongoing impacts on their natural resources, territories and inhabitants caused by land grabs and deforestation of their lands by loggers and palm oil companies.
Urgent action is needed to halt the takeover of indigenous peoples’ lands for megaprojects in forested provinces like Kalimantan and Papua in Indonesia. The destruction of forests and rivers is undermining local indigenous livelihoods, and destroying ancestral lands. Between 40 and 70 million people in rural Indonesia depend on access to lands and resources, including water for drinking and sanitation, protected by customary laws.
On 25-26 September 2018 Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendant communities and human rights defenders from Peru and Colombia met in a binational workshop in Cauca (Colombia) with FPP and allies, including the Legal Defense Institute of Peru.
A Special Economic Zone in Chiang Khong, northern Thailand, could bring valuable investment into the area. But if it does go ahead, the wetland forests should be excluded to preserve the biodiversity of the local area, and to preserve the way of life of the local community.