FPP's report of activities over the year 2009.
BBC World News reports that an oil palm plantation now owned by the Malaysian IOI Group has taken over Kayan people's lands without their consent. According to the BBC reports, the Kayan have been fighting the case in the courts for 11 years. IOI is one of the founding members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
Human rights court instructs Suriname to compensate victims of massacre
After nearly ten years of struggle and a prolonged legal campaign, the N'djuka Maroon community of Moiwana won a landmark victory against brutal government oppression.
The recent sixth meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG8(j)-6) took place in Montreal from 2-6 November 2009. Parties acknowledged the importance of customary sustainable use of biological resources by indigenous peoples and local communities and agreed that this should receive more attention in the implementation of the whole Convention. Indigenous participants were satisfied with the meeting's outcomes and commented that their timely input and preparations had paid off.
After years of hard work, the Wapichan people of southern Guyana have finalised their community map, which demonstrates the full extent of the Wapichan territory and the customary use of the land and resources by the Wapichan communities. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG8(j)-6) meeting in Montreal was used as an opportunity to present this map to the public. The international audience was greatly impressed by this community-based initiative and praised its value.
The climate talks that took place in Barcelona from 2-6 November 2009 confirm that achievement of a legally binding agreement cannot be expected in Copenhagen. REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries) is likely to be one of the most significant outcomes of COP15, but doubts remain on the definition of forests and the prohibition of forest conversion. Language on indigenous peoples' rights has been retained but still needs to be improved.
Companies in Indonesia have been allegedly clearing designated 'High Conservation Value (HCV) areas', rather than managing them appropriately in order to maintain or enhance the identified values of the area. HCV areas include areas important for communities' livelihoods, identities and environmental services.
Indigenous peoples in Argentina continue to suffer violent state-assisted forced resettlement. They are calling on authorities to halt all evictions immediately and take steps to fully uphold indigenous rights and the rule of law.
'Selling the Seas', a film produced by The Ecologist Film Unit with the Indonesian NGO, KIARA and FPP exposes the growing public opposition to the Indonesian government's plans to clear a further 700,000 hectares of coast, much of it mangrove, threatening the livelihoods of fisherfolk and other coastal peoples. KIARA demands that northern supermarkets and certifiers pay more attention to the harsh social and environmental costs of inappropriate, industrial shrimp and prawn production. Link to the film on The Ecologist website
An FPP review of early lessons flowing from REDD planning and activities in Guyana. It finds that more genuine attention must be paid to land tenure and rights issues. FPP: Rights, forests and climate briefing series
Published in ECO : The voice of the civil society community in the international environmental conventionsVOLUME 26, ISSUE 16 November 2009www.cbdalliance.org
Press release issued by the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC)
Civil society organisations recommend that actions being taken by the President of the World Bank Group to ensure sustainable environmental and social practices in palm oil development for the IFC be equally applied to the WBG’s public sector investments.Letter from civil society organisations to World Bank President4 November 2009
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW) report the killing of a youth by forest personnel, and protest the failure to bring such atrocities to justice.
In response to the NGOs' appeal letter (link), World Bank President Robert Zoellick has just announced that he has frozen all World Bank funding of the palm oil sector pending the development of a comprehensive approach in line with the Bank's commitment to 'sustainable environmental and social practices' . World Bank letter to NGOs
In collaboration with the Forest Peoples Programme