A Supreme Court ruling has found that indigenous peoples who were forcibly evicted from their land in 2011 are to be given monetary compensation, rather than the return of their land.
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”.
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.
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.
Click here to read the joint submission which was submitted by FPP, CEFAID, IWGIA, Tebtebba, AIPP and various other NGOs and indigenous peoples' organisations.
It is often stated that attention to and respect for indigenous peoples’ rights in connection with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is barred by the principle of state sovereignty. This assertion is incorrect in light of contemporary international law. State sovereignty does not and cannot preclude attention to and respect for indigenous peoples’ internationally guaranteed rights.