http://www.iphrdefenders.net is dedicated to help advance advocacy for indigenous peoples' rights and issues in the Asia region. Contributions of articles, statements, photos, videos and other documents on human rights are welcomed. This website will be linked to the main Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) website and the main website of the Asia Human Rights Monitoring System (ARMS) project of the Southeast Asia e-Media Center based in Malaysia.
In a letter to the Malaysian Minister for Plantation Industries and Commodities, FPP and SawitWatch seek clarifications of the government's policies on oil palm and the protection of the customary rights of indigenous peoples. Just as the Federal Ministry seeks to allay international concerns about oil palm expansion, the Sarawak government has announced plans to double the extent of oil palm estates, including 'aggressive development' on customary lands.
This article comes from our partners Institut Dayakologi and is taken from an original article by Dominikus Uyub in the Kalimantan Review magazine, in November 2010.
Article on Charles Stewart Mott Foundation website, covering the work of Forest Peoples Programme and partner Sawit Watch. By Maggie Jaruzel Potter. The following is an excerpt from the article:
"Marcus Colchester, through his work with the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), helps local NGOs and indigenous people hold governments and international financial institutions (IFIs) accountable for their investment decisions.
For many years, he says, FPP has focused its efforts on creating awareness and mobilizing Indonesians to reform the global palm oil industry, which markets its product for food, cosmetics and as bio-fuel. Since the 1980s, Colchester says, the palm oil industry has received more than $2 billion from the World Bank.
He and his FPP colleagues have many years of experience working with policymakers and IFIs directly, but they don’t start there. Instead, FPP uses the bottom-up approach like CASA, working first with people on the ground before sharing what it has learned with top-level policymakers, Colchester says.
“We take our lead from the local people,” he said. “What has been the secret to our success is our alliance with people on the ground, at the village level, who know exactly what is going on.”
Excerpt from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation website:
"Marcus Colchester is director of the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the United Kingdom that supports the rights of those who live in forests and depend upon them for their livelihoods. FPP staff members help people secure their rights, control their land and decide their future. Mott Foundation Communications Officer Maggie Jaruzel Potter conducted a phone interview with Colchester about the organization’s work, which is supported through the International Finance for Sustainability focus area of Mott’s Environment program. This is an edited transcript of that conversation.
'Seasoned campaigner Patrick Anderson of the Forest Peoples Programme, talks to the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club Panel about the Indonesian forests, the peoples living in them, and challenges both the activists and the government are facing.' Read the full article on Engage Media.
The dismally slow progress in the intergovernmental negotiations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases prompted the Norwegian government, in May, to fast track its own money through a parallel ad hoc financing mechanism to pay developing countries for reducing their emissions from deforestation. The process was initially set up with minimal participation but, in response to protests, the Norwegian Government insisted that it would require respect for indigenous peoples’ rights and sound governance. These claims are beginning to seem increasingly hollow.
Since the 1980s, the World Bank Group has invested more than US$2 billion to promote the global trade in palm oil. The expansion of the crop in intensive mono-cultures, especially in Southeast Asia, has been associated with the extensive clearance of tropical forests, land grabbing and widespread human rights abuses. In response to our complaints, the World Bank Group froze funding for the sector worldwide while it came up with a comprehensive strategy for engagement. A first draft document was released in July for comments. It has failed to address the main issues raised in the consultation, therefore Forest Peoples Programme and its partners have again appealed to the World Bank President for a rethink.
Synthesis Paper - Customary sustainable use of biodiversity by indigenous peoples and local communities: Examples, challenges, community initiatives and recommendations relating to CBD Article 10(c)
A Synthesis Paper based on Case Studies from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Suriname and Thailand.
World Bank president responds to joint NGO letter on palm oil sector strategy, promising an extension in the process
Letter from FPP and NGOs regarding continuing concerns about the World Bank palm oil strategy
Forest Peoples Programme, Sawit Watch, and Urgewald
Urgent action letter calling on Government of India to respect the rights of indigenous peoples.
During May and June, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector financier, finally began a long-delayed process of consultation aimed at developing a revised strategy setting out the terms and conditions for future investment in the controversial palm oil sector. The IFC produced an 'issues paper' which usefully summarised the viewpoints of the various actors, including critics of the IFC. Consultations were then held in Washington, DC; then in three places in Indonesia, followed by Ghana, Costa Rica and finally Europe. Working closely with a consortium of Indonesian NGOs, smallholders and indigenous peoples, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) helped put together a detailed Joint Statement to the IFC setting out proposals for the IFC strategy and how it should be developed. The statement was endorsed by over 160 organisations in Indonesia and around the world and was widely cited by supportive organisations in the subsequent consultations.
The right of indigenous peoples to give or withhold their free prior and informed consent to projects, laws and policies that may affect their rights is affirmed in international law. Making this right effective is more challenging: and what should private sector companies do to ensure they respect this right? This 'scoping paper'has been prepared by FPP for The Forests Dialogue to stimulate an interactive discussion about how to respect FPIC in practice among all those concerned about forests and rights.
Scoping paper prepared for The Forest Dialogue's (TFD) FPIC Initiative.
Cyclone Aila hit the south-western coastal belt of Bangladesh, more specifically the Satkhira and Khulna Districts, on 25 May 2009, affecting almost 2.3 million people and immediately killing 325. The tidal surge, which measured 10-13m, inundated the region and washed away huge numbers of houses, livestock, crops and other resources within a very short time.
It has been reported that a bloody clash occurred between Riau Police Mobile Brigade and hundreds of palm oil plantation smallholders and members of KUD Prima Sehati cooperative on 8 June, 2010.