Indigenous peoples in Paraguay recommend action on land rights and national legal reforms to uphold community rights, slow deforestation and protect the climate

The Situation of Indigenous Rights in Paraguay
The Situation of Indigenous Rights in Paraguay

Indigenous peoples in Paraguay recommend action on land rights and national legal reforms to uphold community rights, slow deforestation and protect the climate

Asunción, November 12, 2015: Two new reports launched today by the Paraguayan Federation of Indigenous Peoples (FAPI) call for greater recognition of land rights and legislative reforms to secure community collective rights to land, tackle deforestation, curb land use emissions and harmonise national laws with international obligations to uphold human rights. [Only available in Spanish]

The reports can be downloaded here:

Situación Territorial de los Pueblos Indígenas de Paraguay FAPI y FPP, Asunción, noviembre de 2015/ The Situation of Indigenous Peoples’ Territorial Rights in Paraguay, FAPI and FPP, Asunción, November 2015

Estudio del marco legal del Paraguay sobre los derechos humanos de los pueblos indígenas relacionados con los posibles proyectos de REDD+, FAPI y FPP, Asunción, noviembre de 2015 /Assessment of Paraguay’s Legal Framework on the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in relation to possible REDD+ projects, FAPI and FPP, Asunción, November 2015

The first report assessing the situation of territorial rights finds that indigenous peoples in Paraguay suffer insecure tenure across the country and those that have land titles consider them inadequate to protect their rights. Land grabbing and destruction of their forests is a widespread problem leading to systematic rights violations and damage to local livelihoods, biodiversity the climate. Testimonies from community members highlight that deforestation and rights abuse are driven by the expansion of industrial soybean farming in the eastern region and large-scale cattle ranching in the western Chaco region. The legal analysis of Paraguayan laws as they relate to indigenous peoples’ rights finds that they are paternalistic and contain serious gaps in relation to core standards on land, territorial and resource rights and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

Both reports recommend urgent action to reform the national process and regulations for land titling and demarcation to properly recognise indigenous peoples’ collective systems of customary tenure. The reports emphasise that effective national actions to tackle deforestation drivers and mitigate climate change must include timely and priority measures to legally secure and restitute indigenous peoples’ lands and forest territories.