Source: The Ecologist
Peru is set to embark on a major expansion of gas operations in the Camisea region in the Amazon - a move which could decimate Indigenous peoples, both those in ‘voluntary isolation’ and others in the early stages of contact.
Cameroon’s 1994 Forest Code is being reformed and civil society has serious and urgent concerns about the process by which the reforms are taking place and the content of the draft reform proposals.
On 2 November four Peruvian indigenous organisations issued a statement opposing recently-approved plans to expand operations in the Camisea gas fields in the south-east of the country which would threaten the ‘physical and cultural survival’ of indigenous peoples in ‘voluntary isolation’ and initial contact. This expansion is scheduled to take place within the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve for isolated peoples which is supposed to be off-limits to extractive industries. However, earlier this year an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the first phase of expansion was approved by Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, despite being challenged by the government’s indigenous affairs department , INDEPA, and questioned by indigenous organisations.
On 9 – 11 October 2012, Forest Peoples Programme and Sawit Watch, with the support of Cambodian NGO Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) co-organised a workshop, ‘Making the Bali Declaration Effective: The Phnom Penh Workshop on Human Rights and Agribusiness’, as a follow-up event to the Bali Workshop on Human Rights and Agribusiness of 2011. Hosted by the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), the workshop was attended by National Human Rights Commissioners from Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar, South Korea and Timor-Leste, the Indonesian representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), concerned Southeast Asian NGOs and the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food and on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In common with many other countries in Latin America, Guatemala suffers from a highly unequal “bimodal” distribution of land. More than half of the land in the country is covered by private land estates owned by either families and individuals or by mining, logging, agribusiness and plantation companies. In contrast, smallholdings amount to one fifth of the land area and are occupied by peasants and small farmers who make up 80% of the population. Indigenous peoples are the customary owners of land throughout the country, but in many cases do not have legal demarcation nor titles to their ancestral territories. Despite promises to recognise indigenous peoples’ and peasant farmers’ land rights, made in the 1996 Peace Accords and in stagnant proposals for agrarian reforms, little has been done to secure the land rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.[i]
A disappointing outcome for indigenous peoples at the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India, 8-19 October 2012: Parties failed to adopt a decision to update the CBD’s terminology ‘indigenous and local communities’ to ‘indigenous peoples and local communities’, due to the resistance of a few Parties.
A gender workshop organised in Kisoro, south-western Uganda, from the 19-21 November 2012 that aimed to initiate indigenous people in general aspects of gender, has ended successfully.
The workshop was facilitated by the United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU) and Forest Peoples Programme and hosted fifty Batwa men and women from the districts of Kanungu, Mbarara, Kabale and Kisoro. Youngsters aged 14 - 20 also attended the workshop.
In 2010 the African Development Bank (AfDB) committed to develop new ‘safeguard standards’. These are policies which are intended to provide the Bank and its borrowers with a framework to assess and mitigate social and environmental risk. In so doing, the Bank is following the lead of other regional multilateral development banks (Asian, European, Inter-American) and the World Bank and International Finance Corporation.
The Regional Group for Monitoring Megaprojects in Ucayali (El Grupo Regional de Monitoreo de Megaproyectos de Ucayali, GRMMU), based in Peru, have just announced the launch of their new blog: *http://megaproyectosucayali.blogspot.com/*.
1. Destruction at Dawn: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Republic of Nepal
An in-depth report into the development of the Arun III hydropower project and the challenges it, and projects like it, pose to the Nepali government commitments to protect the rights and interests of indigenous peoples (LAHURNIP, NGO-FONIN and FPP).
Community representatives from across Liberia assembled in Bopolu City in Gbarpolu County on 27 – 29 November, to discuss the impacts of palm oil agricultural concession developments taking place in Liberia on land already used and owned (customarily or otherwise) by communities. Over 150 community delegates from the counties of Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Sinoe attended the meeting jointly organised by the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), the Save My Future Foundation (SAMFU) and the Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev).
Statement and Declaration by Affected Community members from Sime Darby and Golden Veroleum Oil Palm Concessions – Three Day Conference in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County
Nigerian NGOs and community leaders have filed a formal complaint with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil challenging the proposals of the palm oil transnational Wilmar International to expand its operations in Cross River State in the Southeast of the country.
This Joint Statement is the outcome of a conference held in Medan on 5 - 10 November 2012, organised by Darma Agung University and grassroots organisation Lentera Rakyat, on land grabbing and oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia.
As part of its REDD+ preparation, Cameroon submitted on 6 August 2012 the draft of its REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) managed by the World Bank.
Following the recommendation of the national validation workshop held in Ebolowa, Cameroon in June 2012, members of Cameroonian civil society met as part of the Forests and Communities Platform (Plateforme Forêts et Communautés) from 11 to 13 September 2012, to analyse the strengths and areas for improvement of the R-PP.
Financial institutions have been warned today to avoid investments in pulp and paper mills associated with deforestation and human rights abuses in Indonesia.
This Call to Action is the result of an International Expert Workshop on the World Heritage Convention and Indigenous Peoples organised by the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) and financially supported by the Danish Agency for Culture, the Greenland Government, and the Christensen Fund.
A collective of indigenous organisations and local NGOs in Ucayali province in Peru have rejected Peruvian government plans to construct a highway between Peru and Brazil. The organisations highlight that the road would have major and irreversible effects on the area that includes indigenous peoples’ customary lands that remain unrecognised, the Isconahua reserve for isolated peoples and the Sierra del Divisor natural protected area. Despite this, the organisations point out that the Peruvian government has failed to comply with its own laws requiring prior consultation with affected peoples and violated obligations to uphold indigenous peoples' rights under international treaties ratified by the country. The collective of organisations is now calling on the Peruvian government to declare the project unviable.