The Wapichan People of Guyana have set up a ground-breaking system to defend their human rights and monitor their ancestral lands against harmful development.
The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) is pleased to present a new comprehensive study on the lack of tenure security faced by indigenous communities in Guyana’s Northwest District. ‘Our Land, Our Life: A participatory assessment of the land tenure situation of indigenous peoples in Guyana’ was published in collaboration with UK non-governmental organisation Forest Peoples Programme (FPP).
Based on the experiences of Amerindian communities in Guyana, this briefing presents some of the main causes of forest conflicts in the country as well as recommendations for how to address these. In particular, the document presents the following points: • Lack of full recognition of indigenous peoples’ land rights in line with international law, absence of effective FPIC procedures and limited transparency in forest governance are key underlying causes of forest-related conflicts in Guyana;
GEORGETOWN, May 13, 2016: The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) held its 9th General Assembly on 10-12 May 2016 in the village of Pakuri, Region 4. The main issues discussed during the assembly included land rights, climate change, and the various social and environmental issues affecting indigenous communities throughout the country. The assembly also highlighted the proactive measures communities are engaged in to build a stronger, greener, and more just Guyana.
Georgetown, March 3rd: More than one hundred people from 15 communities of the indigenous Wapichan people of the South Rupununi District of Guyana, South America, have gathered on 2nd and 3rd March to celebrate joining a global campaign in support of indigenous peoples and community land rights.
The flagship of Norway's rainforest initiative in Guyana could be replaced by mining, logging and large-scale deforestation. The Amaila Falls hydro power plant may not be constructed due to the economic risk. However, the Guyanese government now wants to use the road leading to the site, which has already been built, to extract minerals and timber from the pristine rainforest.
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.
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]
Where They Stand details how Wapichan people in South America use modern technologies in the struggle to secure their land rights
The Wapichan people of Guyana are using modern technology and community research to seek legal recognition of their ancestral land in the face of aggressive land-grabbing, destructive logging, and poisonous mining by illegal miners and foreign companies, finds new report by internationally acclaimed science writer Fred Pearce.
October 2015: Wapichan Village Leaders and District Toshaos Council in Guyana call on the government to halt all mining activities affecting the southern portion of their territory until land and territorial rights are secured and proper safeguards for FPIC are put in place
The large-scale hunt for gold not only destroys rainforest in Guyana, it also threatens a deal for billions in funds from Norway.
“They are bound to that land, and they are its true custodians.”
Written by author and journalist Fred Pearce, Where They Stand reveals the reality of life for the Wapichan people. With detailed observations, Pearce documents their determined efforts to secure effective recognition of their customary land rights covering extensive rainforests in the Upper Essequibo basin and savannah grasslands, dry tropical forests and montane forest in the South Rupununi District of Guyana.
letter submitted by APA to the Carbon Fund of the FCPF before their meeting (27-30 April) to consider the eligibility of Guyana to develop an Emission Reduction Project Idea Note (ER PIN) under the FCPF framework. The letter makes arguments for why Guyana is not ready to develop an emission reductions programme yet.
This statement was presented by the indigenous representatives participating in a seminar organised by the Amerindian Peoples Association in Georgetown, February 2015.
The global forest crisis is worsening and infringements of the rights of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities are rising, according to a detailed assessment of nine country cases. Climate change mitigation and conservation policies must place community land rights and human rights centre-stage if they are to achieve the goal of sustainably reducing deforestation says the report.
Statement by Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin – COICA
The Peruvian Amazon turns blood red before COP20: Without territories and rights there will be no climate solutions
Guyana has been a major proponent of international funding for avoided deforestation in tropical countries. In 2009 the government signed an MOU with the Kingdom of Norway under an agreement to reduce deforestation, pursue low carbon (non-fossil fuel) development and enter into negotiations with the EU on a trade treaty under the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. Almost five years after the signing of this bilateral agreement, how are indigenous peoples’ rights and local benefit sharing issues being addressed in Guyana’s land use, forest and climate policies?
More than four years after the signing of the Guyana-Norway MoU, this special report seeks to assess the quality of treatment of indigenous peoples’ rights in Guyana’s national policies on land, low carbon development and forests. The review draws on extensive community visits and policy analyses conducted by the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) and the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) between 2009 and 2013.