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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.

La Petición Batwa Ante El Tribunal Constitucional De Uganda

Autor: Organización Unida para el Desarrollo Batwa en Uganda (UOBDU)

El 8 de febrero de 2013 los Batwa de Uganda presentaron una petición ante el Tribunal Constitucional de Uganda para que se reconociera su condición de pueblos indígenas según el derecho internacional.  Además pidieron que se les compensara por la marginación histórica y las continuas violaciones de los derechos humanos que han sufrido como consecuencia de haber sido desposeídos de sus tierras forestales ancestrales por el Gobierno.

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”.

E-Boletín FPP Diciembre 2013 (PDF Version)

Queridos amigos:

¿Qué perspectivas hay de proteger los derechos territoriales de los pueblos indígenas, las comunidades locales y las mujeres en un futuro cercano?

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.

El pueblo indígena de los Batwa recibe formación sobre cuestiones de género

Un taller sobre cuestiones de género fue organizado en Kisoro, en el sudoeste de Uganda, entre el 19 y el 21 de noviembre de 2012, con el objetivo de iniciar al pueblo indígena en los aspectos generales sobre el género.  El taller concluyó con éxito.

El taller estaba organizado por la United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda o UOBDU (Organización Unida para el Desarrollo de los Batwa) y el Forest Peoples Programme o FPP (Programa para los pueblos de los Bosques), y en él participaron cincuenta hombres y mujeres Batwa de los distritos de Kanungu, Mbarara, Kabale y Kisoro. También asistieron al taller jóvenes de edades comprendidas entre los 14 y los 20 años. 

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.

Los Batwa de Uganda realizan un modelo tridimensional de su zona ancestral del bosque de Bwindi

En 2009 un grupo de representantes de los Batwa de Uganda visitó a las comunidades Ogiek en Kenia para informarse de su situación y de las diferentes estrategias que están utilizando para defender sus derechos e intereses. Una de estas estrategias fue la creación participativa de modelos tridimensionales (P3DM por sus siglas en inglés), los cuales ayudaron a los Ogiek a defender sus derechos sobre su territorio ancestral, el bosque Mau, ante los organismos oficiales kenianos. Los Batwa volvieron a Uganda tras esta visita muy impresionados por la simplicidad de la técnica P3DM y con al esperanza de aplicarla en su propio contexto.

Dos años más tarde, en junio de 2011, y con el apoyo de la Fundación ARCUS, los Batwa, empezaron a crear su propio modelo tridimensional de su territorio ancestral: el Parque Nacional Impenetrable de Bwindi. Más de 100 representantes de las comunidades Batwa que viven alrededor de Bwindi, incluidos jóvenes, ancianos, mujeres y hombres participaron en esta actividad durante un período de tres semanas.

Endorois decision on indigenous peoples’ rights informs high level regional meeting in Africa

The land rights of indigenous peoples and human rights of minority communities were discussed in Kampala, Uganda on 4th March 2011 during the first East Africa Regional Dialogue on Minority Community Rights. The event came as a result of the collaboration of many national and international organisations including the United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda, Forest Peoples Programme, Minority Rights Group International, Institute for Law & Environmental Governance, Uganda Land Alliance and Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment.  The dialogue was attended by representatives of indigenous peoples and minority communities from throughout the East African region as well as government and civil society organisations from Uganda and Kenya. Honoured guests included the Minister of State for Gender and Culture from Uganda and the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, former Commissioner of the African Commission Bahame Tom Nyanduga, representatives from the African Commission’s Working Group of Experts on Indigenous Populations/Communities, as well as indigenous leaders from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania.

Una decisión sobre los derechos de los Endorois como pueblo indígena encauza una reunión de ámbito regional en África

Los derechos territoriales de los pueblos indígenas y los derechos humanos de las comunidades minoritarias fueron debatidos en Kampala, Uganda, el 4 de marzo de 2011 durante el Diálogo Regional del Este de África sobre los Derechos de las Comunidades Minoritarias.  El evento fue el resultado de la colaboración de muchas organizaciones nacionales e internacionales, incluida la United Organisation for Batwa Development (Organización Unida para el Desarrollo Batwa) de Uganda, el Forest Peoples Programme, Minority Rights Group International (Grupo pro Derechos de las Minorías), el Institute for Law & Environmental Governance (Instituto de Derecho y de Gobernanza Ambiental), la Uganda Land Alliance (Alianza de Uganda por la Tierra) y la Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (Coalición de Defensores del Desarrollo y el Medio Ambiente).  El diálogo fue mantenido por representantes de pueblos indígenas y de comunidades minoritarias de toda la región del este de África así como por representantes de los gobiernos y de organizaciones de la sociedad civil de Uganda y Kenia. Como invitados de honor asistieron la Ministra de Igualdad de Género y Cultura de Uganda, el Presidente de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de Uganda, el ex comisionado de la Comisión Africana Bahame Tom Nyanduga, representantes del Grupo de Trabajo de Expertos en Poblaciones/Comunidades Indígenas que forma parte de la Comisión Africana, y líderes indígenas de Ruanda, Uganda, Burundi, Kenia y Tanzania.