Delegates from the 'Closing the Gap' forum on human rights, deforestation and supply chains are visiting Paris to call on governments and companies to put in place strong rights protections for communities and their forests, and share a set of technical recommendation they have developed for achieving this.
Opportunity to interview a delegation of indigenous and community leaders
Brussels February 20th ; London February 22nd
To schedule interviews or obtain press materials, please contact a press officer below
A delegation of 14 indigenous leaders and human rights defenders from Africa, Asia, and South America have written a statement to the EU, after a 3-day forum on local solutions for closing the gap between policy and practice in the global agro-commodity trade.
Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at their recent COP17 did not support performance indicators for reporting on the implementation of indigenous peoples’ rights in REDD+. However, they did recognise that REDD+ benefits have to go beyond carbon to include biodiversity conservation and support for local livelihoods.
Forest Peoples Programme, with a delegation of indigenous peoples from Guyana, Kenya, Cameroon, Suriname and Peru, attended preparatory negotiations and the 17th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa, in late November/early December 2011. The main purpose of FPP’s attendance was to support the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus and closely follow negotiations on REDD+ safeguards and finance.
In October 2011, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) conducted a survey of our local partners asking them to pinpoint key experiences and emerging lessons learned in relation to REDD+ and rights issues over the last three years. Partners who contributed include the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) and Association Okani (Cameroon), CEDEN (DRC), Foundation for the Promotion of Traditional Knowledge (Panama), Amerindian Peoples Association (Guyana), Association of Village Leaders in Suriname, Association of Saamaka Authorities (Suriname), AIDESEP (Peru), Federation for the Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples (Paraguay) and Scale-up, Pusaka and FPP field staff (Indonesia). Observations and lessons are also drawn from workshops with local partners, field studies and issues stemming from indigenous peoples’ representatives in dialogues with national and international REDD+ policy-makers. Key observations and lessons are summarised below.
At a ceremony in San Francisco this award was made to the leaders of the Saramaka Maroon community for their work on the 2007 Saramaka People v. Suriname case decided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This case ultimately led to a landmark ruling for indigenous and tribal peoples throughout the Americas to control resource exploitation in their territories.
The forested interior of Suriname is home to Amazonian Indians and so-called Maroons, descendants of escaped African slaves who recreated societies in Suriname’s hinterland in the 17th and 18th centuries. These peoples have long complained that they suffer persistent and pervasive racial discrimination that is particularly evident in the government’s failure to recognize their rights to their ancestral lands, which have instead been parcelled out to loggers, miners and as protected areas. Last week, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination agreed with them for a second time in a year.
On August 8, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued a request to the Government of Suriname asking that it “take appropriate measures to suspend all concessions, including permits and licenses for logging and mine exploration and other natural resource development activity on lands used and occupied by the 12 Saramaka clans