In their recent Science editorial on the subject of isolated indigenous peoples, two anthropologists, Hill and Walker argue for a tectonic shift in policy from ‘leave them alone’ to ‘controlled contact’. They argue that ‘leave them alone’ policies rest on flawed assumptions that these populations are viable in the long term for genetic, immunological and political reasons and that once isolated populations are provided with ‘full information’ and realize they are unlikely to be ‘enslaved or massacred’ they will leap at the chance of contact.
Here are some stories and facts from an FPP trip to support our partners in Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan in May 2015. A message was sent to us by our local partner, Link-AR Borneo, saying that four villages in Kapuas Hulu were rejecting an oil palm company’s expansion plans. All four villages - Beluis Harum, Belikai, Seneban and Bati – are the home of Suaid Dayak indigenous people.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights held a sub-regional consultation for Central Africa, in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 13 to 15 July 2015. The consultation brought together different stakeholders to enable an open dialogue about the challenges encountered in the context of extractive activities in Central Africa, and how to develop sustainable solutions, best practices and a way forward.
Indonesia’s largest palm oil producer, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), is in trouble after the Complaints Panel of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) upheld Forest Peoples Programme’s complaint that the company’s operations in Indonesian Borneo contravene the RSPO standard. The Panel ruled in May 2015 that GAR could not clear or acquire any further land until the complaint was resolved. The company planned to expand 18 of its already massive oil plantations but pulled back after FPP filed its complaint.
Global calls to curb forest loss have taken on an added urgency in the light of renewed efforts to combat climate change. The statistics are clear: rapid land use change is a significant cause of emissions of global warming gases. In some tropical forest counties, like Indonesia, land clearance for oil palm and pulpwood plantations is causing massive emissions from trashed forests and drained peat-swamps. Per capita emissions from Indonesia rival those of many developed countries. So it makes sense to slow down forest loss.
For the last two months, the Bantu and Bagyeli communities of Bella have watched as workers from a forestry company have entered their territory and started razing their forest lands. Removal of logs has damaged their crops, and has come so close to houses as to put them at risk of damage from the felling.
Capacity-building on traditional knowledge, customary use and community monitoring
In June 2015, Forest Peoples Programme was one of the main organising partners of a CBD International Training Workshop held in Panajachel, Guatemala. The workshop focused on Community-Based Monitoring, Indicators on Traditional Knowledge and Customary Sustainable Use and Community Protocols, within the framework of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
On September 30th and October 1st, a major international meeting on securing the land and resource rights of indigenous peoples and communities will be held in Bern, Switzerland. The conference builds on work done to advance securing ownership rights over the customary lands and resources under use of local communities and indigenous peoples, and seeks to focus more on the implementation of existing commitments than on securing new targets – moving from rhetoric to action.
The Cambridge Institutes Press (CIP) is pleased to release the eBook Chico Vive!. It is available for download in PDF form, free of charge. Please click on this link CHICO VIVE! to obtain your complimentary copy.
The Indigenous Wampis people of the Upper Amazon in Peru are on the verge of establishing their own autonomous self governing body to control and oversee their integralterritory. The Wampis communities reject large dam, road and hydrocarbon projects in their territory, (Statements and resolutions available in Spanish only).
Click here to view the statements