Mott Foundation - "Protecting indigenous rights is NGOs’ shared passion"

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.”

"Monitoring palm oil industry to protect people and planet" - Interview with Marcus Colchester (FPP) by Maggie Jaruzel Potter, Mott Foundation

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.

Why sustainable use should be prioritized over protected areas

One of the only successes touted by the CBD is the increase in protected areas (cf. BGO3). At the same time, all the other indicators point to increase in biodiversity loss. Anyone who has either common sense or a PhD in statistics will realize that this means that protected areas, as currently designed and implemented, do not effectively protect biodiversity. Have a look at the links to the graphs linked at the bottom of this page to make up your own mind.

How does the CBD COP work?

We described earlier what the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity seeks to achieve by meeting this year in Nagoya. This is a process that will have major impacts on the world’s biodiversity policies. Nevertheless, most people would not be aware of the way these decisions are taken. 

Disappointment over reluctance of SBSTTA-14 to accept link between land rights and sustainable use and over the treatment of 'bush meat' issues

Our last E-newsletter (April 2010) reported that a group of indigenous experts on sustainable use issues within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the '10(c) team', planned to highlight the link between secure land and resource rights and the protection and maintenance of customary sustainable use of biological resources by indigenous and local communities. This was to take place at the 14th meeting of the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-14) in Nairobi, Kenya (10-21 May). Unfortunately, in the event, delegates did not follow the indigenous experts' proposals to include concrete text on this issue in the final SBSTTA recommendations. Discussions on the use and management of wildlife ('bush meat') also caused indigenous peoples great concern and created impassioned debate.

Decepcionante renuencia del OSACTT 14 a aceptar el vínculo entre los derechos a la tierra y la utilización sostenible, y decepción en relación con el tratamiento de las cuestiones relativas a la «carne de animales silvestres»

En nuestro último boletín de noticias electrónico (abril de 2010), un grupo de expertos indígenas en cuestiones relacionadas con la utilización sostenible de la diversidad biológica dentro de la esfera del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica (CDB), el «equipo 10 c)» anunció que tenía previsto resaltar la relación de los derechos asegurados a la tierra y a los recursos, con la protección y el mantenimiento de la utilización sostenible consuetudinaria de la diversidad biológica por parte de pueblos indígenas y las comunidades locales en la 14.ª reunión del Órgano Subsidiario de Asesoramiento Científico, Técnico y Tecnológico (OSACTT 14) del CDB en Nairobi, Kenia (10-21 de mayo). Lamentablemente los delegados no secundaron las propuestas de los expertos indígenas para mencionar expresamente esta cuestión en las recomendaciones finales del OSACTT. Las discusiones sobre la utilización y gestión de la fauna silvestre («carne de animales silvestres») también fue motivo de gran preocupación para los pueblos indígenas y dieron lugar a un apasionado debate.

Vive déception suite à la réticence de la SBSTTA-14 à accepter le lien entre les droits fonciers et l'utilisation durable ainsi qu'au sujet du traitement des questions relatives à la « viande de brousse »

Dans notre dernière e-newsletter (avril 2010), un groupe d'experts autochtones sur les questions liées à l'utilisation durable dans le cadre de la Convention sur la diversité biologique (CDB), appelé « équipe 10 c) ", faisait part de ses plans pour mettre en exergue le lien entre la sécurité des droits aux terres et aux ressources et la protection et la conservation de l'utilisation durable coutumière des ressources biologiques par les communautés autochtones et locales à l'occasion de la 14è réunion de l'Organe subsidiaire chargé de fournir des avis techniques et technologiques (SBSTTA-14) de la CDB à Nairobi, Kenya (10-21 mai). Malheureusement, les délégués n'ont pas suivi les propositions des experts autochtones qui comprenaient l'inclusion d'un texte concret sur cette question dans les recommandations finales de la SBSTTA. Les discussions sur l'utilisation et la gestion de la faune (« viande de brousse ») ont également soulevé une vive inquiétude chez les peuples autochtones et donné lieu à un débat très animé.

Swimming Against the Current:The Teribe Peoples and the El Diquis Hydroelectric Project in Costa Rica, Report by the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law

Students from the Human Rights Clinic of the University of Texas School of Law traveled to Costa Rica in the spring of 2010 to investigate the proposed creation of the largest hydroelectric project of its kind in Central America and its impact on the indigenous Teribe people. In violation of international human rights law, the Costa Rican government is proceeding without the consultation with and the free, prior and informed consent of the Teribe people who live on the proposed site. The Human Rights Clinic published the following report in English and in Spanish: Swimming Against the Current: The Teribe Peoples and the El Diquis Hydroelectric Project in Costa Rica