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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?

FPP E-Newsletter July 2013 (PDF Version)

Dear Friends,

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.

E-Boletín FPP Julio 2013 (PDF Version)

Queridos amigos:

El reconocimiento, el respeto y el beneficio mutuos son algunos de los atributos deseables en toda relación humana. Los pueblos indígenas y otros pueblos de los bosques también esperan estas cualidades en sus relaciones con otros, ya sean gobiernos, empresas privadas, ONG u otras organizaciones y comunidades de pueblos indígenas.  Este número del boletín electrónico de noticias del Forest Peoples Programme informa del estado de varias relaciones entre pueblos de los bosques y diferentes instituciones, mientras estas son forjadas, puestas a prueba o rotas, en el curso de las afirmaciones de la defensa de los derechos humanos básicos, la justicia social y la solidaridad.

Latest submission to the Convention on Biological Diversity

FPP and Natural Justice organised a joint submission to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in response to a request for contributions from Parties and stakeholders about the CBD’s programme of work that deals with traditional knowledge about biodiversity (Article 8j). 

Última propuesta presentada ante la Secretaría del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica

En abril de 2013 el FPP y Natural Justice organizaron una propuesta  conjunta ante la Secretaría del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica (CDB) en respuesta a una solicitud de contribuciones de las Partes y los interesados directos sobre el programa de trabajo del CDB relacionado con los conocimientos tradicionales de la diversidad biológica (artículo 8j]). 

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.