BBC World News reports that an oil palm plantation now owned by the Malaysian IOI Group has taken over Kayan people's lands without their consent. According to the BBC reports, the Kayan have been fighting the case in the courts for 11 years. IOI is one of the founding members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
The recent sixth meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG8(j)-6) took place in Montreal from 2-6 November 2009. Parties acknowledged the importance of customary sustainable use of biological resources by indigenous peoples and local communities and agreed that this should receive more attention in the implementation of the whole Convention. Indigenous participants were satisfied with the meeting's outcomes and commented that their timely input and preparations had paid off.
After years of hard work, the Wapichan people of southern Guyana have finalised their community map, which demonstrates the full extent of the Wapichan territory and the customary use of the land and resources by the Wapichan communities. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG8(j)-6) meeting in Montreal was used as an opportunity to present this map to the public. The international audience was greatly impressed by this community-based initiative and praised its value.
The climate talks that took place in Barcelona from 2-6 November 2009 confirm that achievement of a legally binding agreement cannot be expected in Copenhagen. REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries) is likely to be one of the most significant outcomes of COP15, but doubts remain on the definition of forests and the prohibition of forest conversion. Language on indigenous peoples' rights has been retained but still needs to be improved.
Companies in Indonesia have been allegedly clearing designated 'High Conservation Value (HCV) areas', rather than managing them appropriately in order to maintain or enhance the identified values of the area. HCV areas include areas important for communities' livelihoods, identities and environmental services.
Indigenous peoples in Argentina continue to suffer violent state-assisted forced resettlement. They are calling on authorities to halt all evictions immediately and take steps to fully uphold indigenous rights and the rule of law.
'Selling the Seas', a film produced by The Ecologist Film Unit with the Indonesian NGO, KIARA and FPP exposes the growing public opposition to the Indonesian government's plans to clear a further 700,000 hectares of coast, much of it mangrove, threatening the livelihoods of fisherfolk and other coastal peoples. KIARA demands that northern supermarkets and certifiers pay more attention to the harsh social and environmental costs of inappropriate, industrial shrimp and prawn production. Link to the film on The Ecologist website
Press release issued by the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC)
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW) report the killing of a youth by forest personnel, and protest the failure to bring such atrocities to justice.
In response to the NGOs' appeal letter (link), World Bank President Robert Zoellick has just announced that he has frozen all World Bank funding of the palm oil sector pending the development of a comprehensive approach in line with the Bank's commitment to 'sustainable environmental and social practices' . World Bank letter to NGOs
In response to a complaint made to the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) by a coalition of international NGOs, the World Bank's president, Robert Zoellick, has agreed to suspend further investment in the oil palm sector, pending the development of a revised strategy for dealing with the troubled sector.
FPP is pleased to announce the first four in a continuing series of briefings that we are producing in collaboration with our partner organisations around the world.
The sustainable customary practices of indigenous peoples, the subject of Article 10(c) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), will be one of the main topics at the upcoming meeting of the CBD Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG-8(j) 6) in Montreal from 2-6 November 2009. A key question on the agenda asks how Parties to the Convention can improve implementation of this important article. The message of indigenous and local communities, submitted ahead of the meeting, is that secure rights to land and resources is a necessary condition to achieve effective implementation of Article 10(c).
FPP has published a series of five country studies, and an in-depth overview, examining indigenous peoples' land rights in the forested countries of Africa. The country studies have been produced in collaboration with African experts from Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.
The IFC reviews its Sustainability Policy, Performance Standards and Disclosure Policy after three years of use. Clear problems and weaknesses have been identified which need to be addressed, including the process and success of assessments of so-called 'broad community support' for projects impacting on indigenous peoples' traditional lands.
International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFC)
In Bangkok between 28 September and 9 October negotiators have gathered again to try to come one step closer to an agreement in Copenhagen in December this year on how to combat climate change. Indigenous peoples are calling on parties to transcend traditional boundaries and create climate change agreements and plans that embrace the diversity and the knowledge and wisdom of all the world's peoples.
Issued by Malaysian Bar
Call to the Malaysian Government to implement its commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007 in the face of continued abuse of indigenous peoples in Malaysia.
Indigenous representatives arrested over opposition to construction of dams on their lands, commissioned without their consent by the state government.Issued by JOAS (Indigenous Peoples Network of Asia)