Paris, 26 November 2015 – The Wapichan people in Guyana, South America, have received the prestigious Equator Prize from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in recognition of their prolonged efforts to legally secure their ancestral lands and conserve extensive rainforests and diverse wildlife habitats in the South Rupununi.
My name is Andres Noningo Sesen, I live in Puerto Galilea, a community in Northern Peruvian amazon. We are Wampis, one of the first peoples. Our ancestral lands cover over 1.3 million hectares of forest in the river basins of the Kanus (river Santiago) and Kanken (river Morona). We Wampis are a forest people, traditionally we lived in small groups, dispersed in the forest, hunting, fishing and gathering. It’s only recently that we have settled in large communities.
**PRESS RELEASE: For immediate Release**
The Wampis nation of the Peruvian Amazon declares the creation of the first autonomous indigenous government in Peru to defend the totality of their ancestral territory covering 1.3 million hectares of tropical forest.
The Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights is a worldwide campaign with the aim to double the area of land recognised as owned or controlled by indigenous peoples and local communities by 2020.
In two newly released reports, indigenous leaders point out that the current concession allocations system in Guyana is unjust, severely flawed and facilitated by a national legal framework that does not fully respect their internationally protected rights to their customary lands and resources.
“The foreign companies come and they have legal rights and we the people who have been living here all the time do not have legal rights.” [Resident, Kwebanna village]
Community-based monitoring and information systems (CBMIS) refer to initiatives by indigenous peoples and local community organisations to monitor their community’s well-being and the state of their territories and natural resources, applying a mix of traditional knowledge and innovative tools and approaches. A newly emerging CBMIS network of indigenous peoples and local communities is now active in pilot communities in at least a dozen countries, with monitoring activities on the health of biodiversity, climate change impacts, effects of unsustainable/illegal activities and also implementation of international agreements such as the CBD at the national or local level.
London, 18 November 2015: Washington Bolivar, an indigenous activist in Peru has received another sinister death threat in the immediate wake of his efforts to challenge the destruction of Amazon rainforest for timber extraction and conversion to oil palm.
In the course of the last month, human rights defender, Mr Bolivar received the following handwritten and explicit notes in quick succession:
Geneva, Switzerland, 16 November 2015 – While global demand for the world’s most popular metal – aluminium – continues to rise, it is critical that the aluminium industry address its environmental and social impacts, particularly in indigenous peoples’ territories, according to new report published today by Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Forest Peoples Programme (FFP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The report, Mining, the Aluminium Industry and Indigenous Peoples: Enhancing Corporate Respect for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, provides a global overview of the challenges facing indigenous peoples, and presents five case studies from Australia, Cambodia, Guinea, India and Suriname. The case studies reveal that indigenous communities are affected by primary production activities, such as mining and associated infrastructure (Australia, India, Guine
Cameroonian authorities must stop the repression of environmental human rights defender according to an international coalition of six environmental and human rights organizations, which includes Greenpeace Africa, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), GRAIN, Fern, Oakland Institute and SAVE.
Two new reports launched today by the Paraguayan Federation of Indigenous Peoples (FAPI) call for greater recognition of land rights and legislative reforms to secure community collective rights to land, tackle deforestation, curb land use emissions and harmonise national laws with international obligations to uphold human rights.
Puerto Princesa: 11th November 2015 - A recent fact-finding mission by regional human rights groups in the south-western island of Palawan, the last ecological frontier of the Philippines, has revealed a pattern of land grabs and forest destruction by palm oil companies, partly owned by Malaysian and Singaporean investors.
NGO letter to Calleja Crespo the newly appointed EU Director for the Environment. The letter highlights the most important forest-related items that should be addressed in DG Environment’s work plan for the coming months and years.
Participants at the World Indigenous Summit on Environment and Rivers, WISER Baram 2015, hosted by the grassroots network SAVE Rivers collectively produced a declaration that acknowledges the widespread suffering and destruction caused by dams, and stresses the importance of obtaining Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from communities impacted by dam building.
A regional network of Asian human rights commissions and supportive NGOs has issued a strong statement supporting calls for a moratorium on palm oil expansion in the Philippines southern island of Palawan. The call came at the conclusion of a week of fact-finding trips and discussions of the 5th South East Asian Regional Conference on Human Rights and Agribusiness which was hosted by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, the Coalition on Land Grabbing of the Philippines supported by the Forest Peoples Programme.
Indigenous Peoples' organisations raise concerns regarding the use of the terms “country ownership” and “multi-stakeholder engagement" ahead of Green Climate Fund meetings in Zambia, 2015. The letter is significant as it is the first official and widely supported position on the GCF expressed by Indigenous Peoples.
Read the full letter here
London, 2nd November 2015: Robert Guimaraes Vasquez, a leader of the Shipibo-Konibo indigenous people in Peru’s Amazon has travelled to a global forum in London on business, deforestation and human rights to highlight the destruction of his people’s traditional lands by an international agribusiness group and member of the RSPO (Round Table for Sustainable Palm oil), a global body that certifies that the production and trade of palm oil is sustainable and respects human rights.
The Board of the Green Climate Fund must reject the applications for accreditation of both HSBC and Crédit Agricole. Their accreditation would pose serious reputational and moral risk to the GCF via the banks’
The failure to resolve the underlying land tenure problems of indigenous peoples is one of the main factors behind the increasing deforestation in Peru as reported in a national deforestation study produced by FPP and AIDESEP and launched at the UN Climate talks held in Peru in 2014. Peru hands over the Presidency of the climate change talks to France in Paris this year and since 2010 has made ambitious pledges to resolve indigenous peoples’ landrights struggles as part of its commitments to protect forests and mitigate climate change in which it has pledged to reduce net deforestatio