On top of a hill on the edge of the Northern Rift Valley in Kenya, the sun is warm but the air is fresh and cool. Moments ago, music of resistance filled the air as Sengwer women practiced traditional dance, song and solidarity.
The “Promoting Forest Peoples’ Rights and Food Security with Good Governance in Forest and Climate Policies; from principles to practice” project (henceforth “the project”) is a five-year project funded by the EU under its Environment and Natural Resources Thematic Programme, implemented in 5 African countries –
This publication, published by AIPP, is a collection of stories of struggle of some indigenous women in Asia who directly face the negative impacts of mining. This publication is part of the Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders Network (IPHRD Net) efforts to inform actors and stakeholders of the efforts of indigenous women and their communities to address violations of their rights, particularly their collective rights as indigenous peoples. The IPHRD Net is supported by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
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”.
The principle that the enjoyment of human rights is both the means and the goal of development, highlights the importance of human rights monitoring as a means for empowering rights-holders to exercise their rights, whilst holding States and other actors accountable for their human rights obligations.
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.
1. Destruction at Dawn: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Republic of Nepal
An in-depth report into the development of the Arun III hydropower project and the challenges it, and projects like it, pose to the Nepali government commitments to protect the rights and interests of indigenous peoples (LAHURNIP, NGO-FONIN and FPP).
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.
In July and August 2012, three civil society organisations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - Actions pour les Droits, l'Environnement et la Vie (ADEV), the Centre d’Accompagnement des Autochtones Pygmées et Minoritaires Vulnérables (CAMV), and Cercle pour la défense de l'environnement (CEDEN) - organised a series of legal workshops in collaboration with the Forest Peoples Programme and with financial assistance from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The workshops sought to reinforce the legal capacity of these organisations and to promote a better understanding of indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ rights to land and natural resources and of the mechanisms to advocate for and defend the rights of communities in the REDD+ process in the DRC.
Forest Peoples Programme (alongside partner organisations) has published three new publications; ‘Indigenous Peoples and the Green Climate Fund – A technical briefing for Indigenous Peoples, policymakers and support groups’, the third edition of ‘What is REDD+? A guide for indigenous communities’ and the second edition of ‘A Guide to Indigenous Women’s Rights under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women’.