Article on Charles Stewart Mott Foundation website, covering the work of Forest Peoples Programme and partner Sawit Watch. By Maggie Jaruzel Potter. The following is an excerpt from the article:
"Marcus Colchester, through his work with the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), helps local NGOs and indigenous people hold governments and international financial institutions (IFIs) accountable for their investment decisions.
For many years, he says, FPP has focused its efforts on creating awareness and mobilizing Indonesians to reform the global palm oil industry, which markets its product for food, cosmetics and as bio-fuel. Since the 1980s, Colchester says, the palm oil industry has received more than $2 billion from the World Bank.
He and his FPP colleagues have many years of experience working with policymakers and IFIs directly, but they don’t start there. Instead, FPP uses the bottom-up approach like CASA, working first with people on the ground before sharing what it has learned with top-level policymakers, Colchester says.
“We take our lead from the local people,” he said. “What has been the secret to our success is our alliance with people on the ground, at the village level, who know exactly what is going on.”
Excerpt from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation website:
"Marcus Colchester is director of the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the United Kingdom that supports the rights of those who live in forests and depend upon them for their livelihoods. FPP staff members help people secure their rights, control their land and decide their future. Mott Foundation Communications Officer Maggie Jaruzel Potter conducted a phone interview with Colchester about the organization’s work, which is supported through the International Finance for Sustainability focus area of Mott’s Environment program. This is an edited transcript of that conversation.
One of the only successes touted by the CBD is the increase in protected areas (cf. BGO3). At the same time, all the other indicators point to increase in biodiversity loss. Anyone who has either common sense or a PhD in statistics will realize that this means that protected areas, as currently designed and implemented, do not effectively protect biodiversity. Have a look at the links to the graphs linked at the bottom of this page to make up your own mind.
We described earlier what the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity seeks to achieve by meeting this year in Nagoya. This is a process that will have major impacts on the world’s biodiversity policies. Nevertheless, most people would not be aware of the way these decisions are taken.
Our last E-newsletter (April 2010) reported that a group of indigenous experts on sustainable use issues within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the '10(c) team', planned to highlight the link between secure land and resource rights and the protection and maintenance of customary sustainable use of biological resources by indigenous and local communities. This was to take place at the 14th meeting of the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-14) in Nairobi, Kenya (10-21 May). Unfortunately, in the event, delegates did not follow the indigenous experts' proposals to include concrete text on this issue in the final SBSTTA recommendations. Discussions on the use and management of wildlife ('bush meat') also caused indigenous peoples great concern and created impassioned debate.
Students from the Human Rights Clinic of the University of Texas School of Law traveled to Costa Rica in the spring of 2010 to investigate the proposed creation of the largest hydroelectric project of its kind in Central America and its impact on the indigenous Teribe people. In violation of international human rights law, the Costa Rican government is proceeding without the consultation with and the free, prior and informed consent of the Teribe people who live on the proposed site. The Human Rights Clinic published the following report in English and in Spanish: Swimming Against the Current: The Teribe Peoples and the El Diquis Hydroelectric Project in Costa Rica
'Seasoned campaigner Patrick Anderson of the Forest Peoples Programme, talks to the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club Panel about the Indonesian forests, the peoples living in them, and challenges both the activists and the government are facing.' Read the full article on Engage Media.
Messe Venant, Forest Peoples Programme's Cameroon Field Officer highlights the importance of bushmeat for the Baka in Cameroon in a recent article on the BBC website.
"Everything we need, we go into the forest - for food or anything else," he said. "The principal source of protein for the Baka is bushmeat."
Paragraphs 39-40 contain recommendations towards the rights of Batwa women.
A group of Brazilian advocates and indigenous organizations concerned about the large Belo Monte hydroelectric dam project in Brazil have written to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), urging them to adopt the Brazil - Raposa do Sol case, which is being assisted by Forest Peoples Programme, in this October session of the Commission.
By Alancay Morales Garro, Costa Rica
Friday 15th of October
Tuesday morning 19th October at 11 AM (Nagoya time) the plenary has finished. On behalf of the IIFB, Maria Eugenia Choque (Bolivia), took the floor and read the Opening Statement, taking 7 full minutes!
Nature is being destroyed all over the world. This issue is currently problematised as the destruction of biodiversity. States have started to work together to prevent this in 1992 by signing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Rio, Brasil. They have been meeting every two years ever since. The 10th Conference of parties (COP) starts today in Nagoya, Japan, to review the global strategy to halt biodiversity loss for the next decade. This is an incredibly complex and technical process with a 195 pages draft decision that will be negotiated for two weeks.