"Losing Ground" - report on indigenous communities and oil palm development from LifeMosaic, Sawit Watch and Friends of the Earth

"The report reveals that oil palm companies often use violent tactics to grab land from indigenous communities with the collusion of the police and authorities. Previously self-reliant families, who were able to meet their own needs from the forest around them, complain of being tricked into giving up their land with the promise of jobs and new developments. Instead they end up locked into debt and poorly paid work, while the bounty of the rainforest is replaced with monotonous oil palm plantations. Pollution from pesticides, fertilisers and the pressing process is also leaving some villages without clean water.

Since 2005, Friends of the Earth, Sawit Watch and LifeMosaic have worked closely together on a project aimed at bringing impartial information to communities affected by oil palm plantations in Indonesia, enabling them to make informed decisions about their land and their futures. Losing Ground draws on community testimonies gathered during this project, new Sawit Watch data and previous research to provide an insight into the social, economic and cultural impacts of oil palm plantations." Click here for more information on the Life Mosaic website.

Click here to read the full report

Boletín de Prensa - La Voz de los Pueblos Indígenas fue Censurada en Naciónes Unidas, Roma, 14 de febrero, 2008

Esta mañana en la capital italiana durante la segunda Reunión del Grupo especial de composición abierta sobre el programa de trabajo de Áreas Protegidas (APs) del Convenio sobre Diversidad Biológica (CDB), en las instalaciones de la FAO. Los representantes indígenas se retiraron del proceso del grupo de trabajo por protesta a la exclusión en el grupo de trabajo.

'The great green land grab' Article by John Vidal, The Guardian newspaper, UK 13 February 2008

Marcus Colchester, FPP's director, urges conservationists to reject external land purchase as the solution to forest protection. FPP believes in and campaigns for the full recognition of rights of indigenous and other forest-dependent peoples to secure their customary lands and forests and maintains that this is the most just - and effective - way of ensuring forest conservation. Article by John Vidal, The Guardian newspaper, UK 13 February 2008

NGOs cease talks with ADB on crucial environmental and social Issues

Press Release: The NGO Forum on the ADB, a global coalition of civil society organizations, collectively pulls out from the current consultations on a new safeguard system for the ADB, due to weaknesses in the draft. The Forum calls for the draft to be reissued for new public consultations.

Killing of tribal youth at the hands of the Forest Department in Buxa Tiger Reserve, North Bengal, condemned by NFFPFW

A group of four youths from North Poro forest village in Buxa Tiger Reserve near Alipurduar, North Bengal went in the morning today, 8 February 2008, to the forest to collect fuelwood. While they were coming back, they met the routine Patrol Unit of the Forest Department (FD). The FD Patrolling unit stopped them to question about the fuelwood they were carrying. It was just when the boys, aged between 20-25 years of age, were telling them, one of the Patrol unit members of FD shot one of the boys - aiming straight at the head of the boy from a very close range.

Evidence of illegal incursions into community land by industrial loggers in Cameroon

This week, the Baka community in the Lomie region of Central Cameroon, have been mapping their lands with the support of the Centre for Environment and Development in Cameroon (CED) and Forest Peoples Programme (FPP). The resulting maps clearly show significant incursions into designated community forest by industrial loggers in Cameroon.

Industrial logging concessions begin two kilometres from the community.