The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) is pleased to present a new comprehensive study on the lack of tenure security faced by indigenous communities in Guyana’s Northwest District. ‘Our Land, Our Life: A participatory assessment of the land tenure situation of indigenous peoples in Guyana’ was published in collaboration with UK non-governmental organisation Forest Peoples Programme (FPP).
Based on the experiences of Amerindian communities in Guyana, this briefing presents some of the main causes of forest conflicts in the country as well as recommendations for how to address these. In particular, the document presents the following points: • Lack of full recognition of indigenous peoples’ land rights in line with international law, absence of effective FPIC procedures and limited transparency in forest governance are key underlying causes of forest-related conflicts in Guyana;
GEORGETOWN, May 13, 2016: The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) held its 9th General Assembly on 10-12 May 2016 in the village of Pakuri, Region 4. The main issues discussed during the assembly included land rights, climate change, and the various social and environmental issues affecting indigenous communities throughout the country. The assembly also highlighted the proactive measures communities are engaged in to build a stronger, greener, and more just Guyana.
In two newly released reports, indigenous leaders point out that the current concession allocations system in Guyana is unjust, severely flawed and facilitated by a national legal framework that does not fully respect their internationally protected rights to their customary lands and resources.
“The foreign companies come and they have legal rights and we the people who have been living here all the time do not have legal rights.” [Resident, Kwebanna village]
letter submitted by APA to the Carbon Fund of the FCPF before their meeting (27-30 April) to consider the eligibility of Guyana to develop an Emission Reduction Project Idea Note (ER PIN) under the FCPF framework. The letter makes arguments for why Guyana is not ready to develop an emission reductions programme yet.
This statement was presented by the indigenous representatives participating in a seminar organised by the Amerindian Peoples Association in Georgetown, February 2015.
Guyana has been a major proponent of international funding for avoided deforestation in tropical countries. In 2009 the government signed an MOU with the Kingdom of Norway under an agreement to reduce deforestation, pursue low carbon (non-fossil fuel) development and enter into negotiations with the EU on a trade treaty under the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. Almost five years after the signing of this bilateral agreement, how are indigenous peoples’ rights and local benefit sharing issues being addressed in Guyana’s land use, forest and climate policies?
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.
A side event to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. In this event, the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) will review the treatment of indigenous peoples' rights in national policies and practices in the mining, forestry, infrastructure, conservation and climate finance sectors.The event will be held on the 16th May 2014.
Source: Survival International
Plans to build a massive hydro-electric dam on the land of two unique tribes in Guyana would lead to the destruction of a unique people and vast tracts of rainforest, a new report has revealed today.
On Monday October 21, 2013 the Government of Guyana and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a contract for the Amerindian Land Titling Project under the Guyana/Norway Guyana REDD Investment Fund (GRIF) arrangement. This signing took place during the opening session of the Seventh Annual Meeting of the National Toshaos Council and is heralded by President Donald Ramotar as fulfilling a promise made to the Amerindian people in the PPP’s manifesto. Campaigning? According to another government official Minister of Finance Ashni Singh, the project will give Amerindians control over the lands that belong to them. The project, according to the government is to facilitate the titling and demarcation of Amerindian lands.
To Mrs Cristiana Pasca-PalmerHead of Unit (Climate change, Environment, Natural resources, Water)Directorate General Development and CooperationEuropean CommissionRue de la Loi 200B-1049 Brussels
Re: Guyana – EU VPA negotiation
In April and May 2013 the Amerindian Peoples’ Association (APA) of Guyana and a consortium of European NGOs, including Forest Peoples Programme, sent letters to the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the European Commission (EU) respectively, expressing concerns about rushed consultation processes and a lack of meaningful participation by forest dependent communities in the FLEGT process.
Recently and even more than before there has been a spate of letters appearing in the Guyana Chronicle leveled at criticizing the work of the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) and making totally false and malicious statements and assertions about the organisation and its Vice President Tony James. These include ones written by Noel Antone (June 6), Patrick Austin (June 9) and Peter Persaud (June 12). Letters such as those above have been given ready publication by the Chronicle but when the APA has responded to provide the truth, our letters or releases are never published by the paper.
Cristiana Pasca-PalmerHead of Unit (Climate change, Environment, Natural resources, Water)Directorate General Development and CooperationEuropean CommissionRue de la Loi 200B-1049 Brussels
At the beginning of 2013, indigenous peoples in Guyana are becoming increasingly alarmed over continuing and growing disregard for their legitimate rights by miners and government agencies and gross rights violations which have been endorsed by the judiciary in two recent cases. In 2012, the mining lobby publicly attacked indigenous peoples’ land rights in the Guyanese press and pledged to oppose recognition of customary lands. Meanwhile, the government agency responsible for regulating the mining sector appears to be accelerating the issuance of mining permits and concessions on Amerindian customary lands, despite the fact that these same lands are the subject of legal actions in the courts seeking recognition of traditional ownership rights and/or unresolved village applications for land title and title extensions.
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?
This urgent communication by FPP and APA has been submitted to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, the UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights Obligations relating to the Enjoyment of a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment, the UN Special Rapporteur on to the
Controversial Court decision favours miners over indigenous peoples as country sinks to new low on double standards on human rights and development.