The South Rupununi District Council (“SRDC”) present the Wapichan Environmental Monitoring Report, a case study which details the work of their Monitoring Programme in relation to the mining at Marudi Mountain; and presents their recommendations and requests.
Report from the Project’s Global Monitoring & Evaluation Meeting 9-11 February 2017 in Pekanbaru, Indonesia.
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.
While focusing in particular on the German financing of rainforest protection in Cameroon, this report also covers the broader issue of how Cameroon’s forest policies are shaped by the REDD process. It takes a case study approach, examining the way such forest protection policies impact on local communities by focusing in on the specific example of those communities whose land has been overlaid by the Takamanda National Park.
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.
The UN General Assembly during its 69th session, on 22-23 September this year, will convene a high-level plenary meeting - the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples – to review the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) since its adoption in 2007, and to identify outstanding issues and actions pertaining to indigenous peoples and development.
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”.
The principle that the enjoyment of human rights is both the means and the goal of development, highlights the importance of human rights monitoring as a means for empowering rights-holders to exercise their rights, whilst holding States and other actors accountable for their human rights obligations.
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.
Whenever someone remarks that a solution is being frustrated by ‘lack of political will’, I automatically ask myself: whose is the political will and what are the interests pushing for the opposite?
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.
The continuous, sometimes subtle, violence of conservation and development against indigenous peoples continues, unchecked even at the highest levels by the most worthy-sounding agencies of the United Nations.
Balancing human beings’ need for decent livelihoods against the imperative of securing our environment is, arguably, the biggest challenge facing our planet. This struggle between ‘development’ and ‘conservation’ is being played out in global policy negotiations, with the decisions of so-called policy-makers being imposed on the ground. But not everything is or should be ‘top down’. Enduring solutions also spring from the grassroots, from the ‘bottom up’.
In Africa, Asia and Latin America alike, forest peoples are speaking out against the continuing violations of their rights imposed by development and conservation plans that ignore their interests and deny them a voice. They go beyond resistance, insisting on their own ways of managing their lives, lands and forests.
We, representatives of indigenous peoples’ communities, organizations and networks from Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and North America, came together to unite on how we can engage effectively with the preparatory processes and the conference proper of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio Plus 20. We thank the Ford Foundation, Fondo Indigena and UN WOMEN for providing the resources to allow for this meeting to happen. We also thank COICA, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Inter-tribal Committee and COIAB, for co-organizing this event.
We recalled our active participation in the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and the parallel processes we organized which resulted into the Kari-oca Indigenous Peoples’ Declaration. The UNCED documents which included the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 recognized the vital role of indigenous peoples in sustainable development and identified them as one of the 9 Major Groups.