Indigenous Peoples Release Rio +20 Declaration

Read the indigenous peoples' Declaration here:

Indigenous Peoples from all regions of the world met at the “Indigenous Peoples International Conference on Sustainable Development and Self Determination,” from June 17th – 19th 2012 at the Museu da República in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Indigenous Peoples and support organisations' comments and recommendations on the modalities for selection, activities and role of observers and active observers in the Board of the Green Climate Fund

In response to a specific request by the Green Climate Fund Secretariat, Indigenous Peoples and support organisations have submitted their comments and recommendations on the modalities for selection, activities and role of observers and active observers in the Board of the Green Climate Fund - See Letter. Specific operational details are provided in the response to the questionnaire (attached).

IISD: Indigenous Peoples Reiterate Rio+20 Messages

Article and photograph courtesy of IISD. See ENB on the Side, 21 March 2012 

Indigenous peoples reiterate their key messages for Rio +20 in a side event organized by Tebtebba and the Indigenous Information Network during the 3rd Intersessional Meeting for Rio +20 held in New York.This event, moderated by Karla General, Indian Law Resource Center, addressed key messages of the indigenous peoples for Rio+20.Joji Cariño, TEBTEBBA, supported the integration of a fourth cultural pillar of sustainable development in the zero draft of the Rio+20 outcomes document to encompass the values of indigenous peoples’ spirituality. She suggested: further integrating references to human rights for sustainable development; and respecting local economies, putting in place regulations to avoid land grabbing and predatory investments.

Wapichan people in Guyana present territorial map and community proposals to save ancestral forests


  • Completion of a community digital map of traditional use and occupation of Wapichan wiizi (territory) by Wapichan mappers and a GIS specialist.
  • Community map is based on thousands of waypoints geo-referenced with satellite imagery.
  • The land use map has been finalised through multiple validation meetings in Wapichan communities as well as consultations with the Makushi and Wai Wai communities to the North and South of Wapichan territory.
  • Over 80 community consultations and workshops have been carried out to compile the innovative territorial plan titled Thinking Together for those Coming Behind Us.
  • The land use plan includes proposals to establish a Wapichan Conserved Forest and contains dozens of inter-community agreements on actions to secure land rights, promote sustainable use of resources and enable self-determined community development.
  • Participants at the Wapichan map and plan launch event in Georgetown, Guyana, praised the work as a potential model for other indigenous peoples in Guyana, and throughout the world.

El pueblo Wapichan en Guyana presenta un mapa territorial y propuestas comunitarias para salvar bosques ancestrales

Datos destacados:

·      Cartógrafos Wapichan y un experto en sistemas de información geográfica (SIG) terminan un mapa digital del uso y la ocupación tradicionales del territorio Wapichan (Wapichan wiizi) por parte de las comunidades que viven en él.

·      El mapa comunitario está basado en miles de puntos de referencia georeferenciados con imágenes transmitidas por satélite.

·      El mapa del uso de la tierra ha sido finalizado a través de múltiples encuentros de validación  llevados a cabo en las comunidades Wapichan, así como por consultas con las comunidades Makushi y Wai Wai al  norte y al sur del territorio Wapichan

·      Para elaborar el innovador plan territorial titulado Thinking Togther for those Coming Behind Us (Pensando juntos para las generaciones que vienen detrás de nosotros) se han realizado más de 80 consultas y talleres en las comunidades.

·      El plan de uso de la tierra incluye propuestas para establecer un bosque conservado por el pueblo Wapichan, y engloba docenas de pactos entre las comunidades sobre iniciativas para garantizar los derechos sobre la tierra, fomentar un uso sostenible de los recursos y hacer posible un desarrollo de la comunidad decidido por ellos mismos.

·      Los asistentes al acto de presentación del mapa y del plan del pueblo Wapichan, celebrado en Georgetown, Guyana, elogiaron la labor realizada como posible modelo ejemplar para otros pueblos indígenas del país y del mundo entero.

The Importance of Mainstreaming Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Tenurial Conflict Resolution in Indonesia

A summary of ADR studies in Riau, West Sumatra, Jambi and South Sumatra, Indonesia, by Ahmad Zazali, Executive Director, Scale Up

An ongoing and heated debate is underway over the neglect of public access rights over forest resources in current modes of forest tenure in Indonesia. The role of local communities and their access to natural resources often overlap with the rights accorded to government/state enterprises and the private sector. The exploitation of forest resources has driven large companies to ignore the interests of these communities who live within and depend on forests for their livelihoods. This situation in turn has triggered the emergence of intra- and inter-community social conflict, conflict between communities and the government, as well as conflict between communities and companies.

Since the reform and the implementation of decentralisation policies, natural resource conflicts have become increasingly prevalent in Indonesia. The National Land Agency (BPN) reports that at least 7,491 natural resource conflicts have been dealt with by BPN and the Indonesian police. The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) recorded 359 forest-related conflicts from January 1997 to June 2003. The highest frequency of conflicts occurred in 2000 with 153 recorded cases, or 43% of the total number of cases recorded over those 6 years. Conflicts in ​​Industrial Plantation Forests (HTI) were the highest at 39%, with conservation areas (including protected forests and national parks) representing 34% of conflict cases, and forest concessions (HPH) representing 27%.

La importancia de fomentar la Resolución Alternativa de Conflictos (RAC) para resolver las disputas territoriales en Indonesia

Resumen de estudios de la resolución alternativa de conflictos en Riau, Sumatra Occidental, Jambi y Sumatra Meridional, Indonesia, Ahmad Zazali, director ejecutivo de Scale Up

Hace ya tiempo que en Indonesia mantienen un acalorado debate sobre la falta de atención a los derechos de acceso público a los recursos forestales en las actuales modalidades de tenencia de los bosques. El papel de las comunidades locales y su acceso a los recursos naturales suele solaparse con los derechos concedidos a empresas del gobierno (estatales) y del sector privado. Hay grandes empresas que a la hora de explotar los recursos forestales han hecho caso omiso de los intereses de las comunidades que viven en los bosques y dependen de ellos para su subsistencia. Esta situación a su vez ha provocado conflictos sociales entre comunidades y dentro de una misma comunidad, entre las comunidades y el gobierno, y entre las comunidades y las empresas.

Los conflictos en torno a los recursos naturales se han hecho cada vez más  frecuentes en Indonesia, desde la reforma y la aplicación de políticas de descentralización. Según informa la Agencia Nacional para la Tierra (BPN por sus siglas en indonesio), entre ella y la policía indonesia han atendido al menos 7491 conflictos relacionados con los recursos naturales. El Centro para la Investigación Forestal Internacional (CIFOR) registró 359 conflictos relacionados con los bosques entre enero de 1997 y junio de 2003. La mayor frecuencia de conflictos corresponde al año 2000, en que se registraron 153 casos, el 43% del total de casos registrados en esos 6 años. El porcentaje más alto, un 39%, corresponde a conflictos en bosques con plantaciones industriales, un 34% a conflictos en zonas de conservación (incluyendo bosques protegidos y parques nacionales), y un 27% a conflictos en concesiones forestales.

Rural Indonesians Demonstrate to Demand Land Rights and an End to Land Grabs

Following high profile cases of police violence and killings of rural people protesting land grabs, a new alliance of rural people - indigenous peoples, farmers, workers and landless people as well as supportive NGOs - is demanding the repeal of laws which allow the State to expropriate people's lands and resources in favour or large businesses. They are also demanding the passing of new laws that secure the people's rights in land and ensure ecological justice, through agrarian reforms and the recognition of indigenous peoples' rights.