Forest Peoples Programme Supporting forest peoples’ rights

Self-determination

FPP works to realise forest peoples’ right to self-determination, a fundamental right of all peoples that underpins the work of the United Nations. That this right also applies to peoples within nation states is made explicitly clear in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in Articles 3 and 4.

What does the right to self-determination mean?

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in Articles 3 and 4 states:

Article 3
Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 4
Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

FPP’s work with forest peoples is guided by forest peoples themselves. The focus of this work is to:

  • get the rights and interests of forest peoples recognised in policies and programmes
  • support forest peoples to build their capacity to claim and exercise their human rights
  • counter top-down policies and projects that affect forest peoples
  • promote community-based, sustainable forest management
  • coordinate NGO actions on forests in line with forest peoples’ visions
  • link up indigenous and forest peoples’ movements at the regional and international level.

Relevant resources

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Venezuela: Indigenous peoples of the Caura demand their constitutionally guaranteed territorial rights

2 June, 2014

Invoking their right to self-determination, the Ye’kwana and Sanema peoples of the Caura River in the State of Guayana have issued a statement demanding recognition of their territorial rights. Pointing out that their fully documented land claim has been unanswered by the executive since 2006, the statement also rejects the imposition of any protected areas on their lands and territories until their constitutionally recognised rights to the ‘habitats’, as territories are referred to in Venezuela law, are first recognised.

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Peru's indigenous leaders face life sentences for defending their rights

13 May, 2014

Clima-Selvas-Pueblos somos Uno Solo

On the 14th May 2014 the trial will begin of 53 of Peru's indigenous leaders who are charged with crimes related to the tragic events at Bagua on the 5th June 2009 where over 20 people died and hundreds were injured after Peruvian forces opened fire on indigenous peoples blockading a road in peaceful protest at the efforts of the Peruvian government to dismantle legal protections for their lands.

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Nepali Indigenous groups laud Supreme Court verdict on Constitutional Assembly nominations

13 May, 2014

Kamal Pariyar

KATHMANDU, May 13: Indigenous communities have lauded the Supreme Court´s (SC) recent order on filling the 26 vacant CA seats with representatives of indigenous communities that have not been represented in the CA. They have expressed hope that the implementation of the decision would make the new Constituent Assembly (CA) to be more inclusive. Of the total CA seats, 575 have already been filled, with only 23 of the total 59 scheduled indigenous communities represented at present.

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Companies promoting Genetically Modified Trees open up to scrutiny

15 April, 2014

Following an information sharing meeting of The Forests Dialogue hosted by Forests Peoples Programme and FERN in November 2013, five major pulp and paper companies have released information about their plans to develop Genetically Modified Trees (GMT).

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Sungai Utik Declaration - on the roles of young men and women as next generation indigenous leaders

Sungai Utik

14 April, 2014

Sungai Utik Declaration

The Sungai Utik Declaration was the outcome of young indigenous leaders training. The declaration was formed in a highly collaborative drafting process, which followed five days of deep reflection by over twenty young indigenous leaders from Indonesia and the Phillippines.

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Comunicado a la opinión publica de la Federación por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos Indígenas (FAPI) en conmemoración del Día Internacional de los Pueblos Indigena

9 August, 2013

En el día internacional de los Pueblos Indígenas establecido cada 9 de agosto por las Naciones Unidas a través de su Asamblea General en el año 1994, la FAPI se dirige a la comunidad nacional e internacional haciendo propicia la fecha por su importancia, para dar a conocer sus consideraciones ante la coyuntura que atraviesa actualmente el Paraguay.

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AIPP Statement in Celebration of the 2013 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples - Theme: "Indigenous peoples building alliances: Honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements"

9 August, 2013

Today, we commemorate the world’s indigenous peoples day with our fellow indigenous brothers and sisters across the globe. We gather in different places to celebrate the gains and achievements that we have had in the course of our struggles for the recognition, respect and protection of our rights as distinct peoples with collective rights. At the same time, we continue to address the challenges and emerging issues that seriously impact on our rights and well being.

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The Huffington Post: Nahua Say No to Gas Consortium in Their Territory

5 August, 2013

Source: Huffington Post

Members of the Nahua people living within a reserve for indigenous peoples in 'initial contact' and 'voluntary isolation' in the Peruvian Amazon say they will refuse to allow a gas consortium led by Pluspetrol to operate in their territory.

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Venezuelan Amazonian Indigenous Peoples travel to Caracas to call for a moratorium on mining in their territories

1 July, 2013

Venezuelan Amazonian Indigenous Peoples travel to Caracas to call for a moratorium on mining in their territories

Indigenous peoples from the Venezuelan State of Amazonas grouped together under the umbrella organisation COIAM (Coordinadora de Organizaciones Indigenas de Amazonas) have mobilised in opposition to new plans to open up their State to mining.

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Indigenous Peoples reaffirm their rights in preparation for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014

18 June, 2013

In preparation for the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples to be hosted by the UN General Assembly in 2014, Indigenous Peoples meeting in Alta, Norway, have reaffirmed their inalienable rights to self-determination and to sovereignty over their natural resources.

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