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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Statement of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Geneva, July 20, 2015

27 July, 2015

Human Rights Council
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Eighth Session
20-24 July 2015

Item 3 of the Provisional Agenda

Follow up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP)
including the review of the Mandate of the Expert Mechanism
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

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New film denounces forced resettlement of Dayak peoples in Sarawak

24 July, 2015

Sarawak, Malaysia: A new film from the Borneo project, Broken Promises: Displaced by Dams,  made in conjunction of the indigenous peoples of central Sarawak and many support organisations summarises the threat posed by 17 large dams under development. Featuring interviews with numerous Dayaks and activists, the film describes the impact of previous dams, shows the strong and growing mobilisation in opposition to these impositions and calls for alternative development and energy supply systems.

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Statement and Recommendations of the Indigenous Peoples' Major Group

23 July, 2015

International Indian Treaty Council

United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Eighth session July 20 – 24, 2015
Agenda Item 5: Post 2015 development agenda and Indigenous Peoples’ rights

Statement and Recommendations of the Indigenous Peoples' Major Group

Final Draft of the Outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda

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Indonesia: President renews his pledge to protect indigenous peoples’ rights

7 July, 2015

7th July 2015: In a recent meeting with the national indigenous peoples’ alliance (AMAN), the Indonesian President vowed to support the Bill on the Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, which has languished in the legislature for several years.  He also committed to setting up a Task Force on Indigenous Peoples and promised to release indigenous persons unfairly criminalized for pursuing their livelihoods.

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PRESS RELEASE: Palm oil giant Wilmar resorts to dirty tricks

7 July, 2015

Full Release: English / Bahasa Indonesia

World’s largest palm oil trading company, Wilmar International Ltd., under scrutiny as communities accuse its suppliers of harassment, deception and rights abuses.

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VIDEO: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Relation to the Green Climate Fund and Deforestation in DRC

11 June, 2015

At the Bonn 2015 Climate Change Conference, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and Tebtebba held the side event 'Deforestation, Climate Finance and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: the cases of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).’

In this video by IISD Reporting Services, the event panelists discuss the need for the Green Climate Fund and upcoming UNFCCC decisions to adopt a rights-based approach to climate change. Panelists also discuss the drivers of deforestation in the DRC and gave examples of eviction of indigenous peoples from their land.

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Traditional authorities condemn killings of healers in San Lorenzo Reserve, Colombia

11 May, 2015

Traditional authorities of Cañamomo Lomaprieta Indigenous Reserve in Colombia condemn killings of two traditional healers of neighbouring San Lorenzo Indigenous Reserve (May 2015): see resolution here (only available in Spanish)

Autoridades tradicionales del Resguardo Indígena Cañamomo Lomaprieta, en Colombia, condenan el asesinato de dos médicos tradicionales del vecino Resguardo Indígena San Lorenzo (mayo de 2015).

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Oil Palm Free Islands

5 May, 2015

From outsiders to political representatives, the indigenous struggle in the Mentawai islands is a 20 year struggle to be heard. We learn through the eyes of Gugen, a future Indigenous leader, as he meets the villagers, shamens, newspaper & radio stations that unify these threatened islands.

Oil Palm Free Islands from Handcrafted Films on Vimeo.

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Event Report: "The Global Indigenous Movement: Past Achievements, Future Challenges"

30 April, 2015

Joji Activism 1990s

On 26th March 2015, The Social Movements and Civil Society Research Group at City University London (SMCSRG) held its third evening event, a talk on The Global Indigenous Movement: Past Achievements Future Challenges. SMCSRG was delighted to host long-time indigenous peoples’ rights activist and current Director of the Forest Peoples Programme, Joji Cariño, to speak on these themes. The event was Chaired by Dr Mauro Barelli, a Senior Lecturer specialising in minority and indigenous peoples’ rights at The City Law School.

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Indigenous peoples of Peru unite to denounce imminent legal reforms that threaten land rights

28 April, 2015

In a statement published in a national newspaper, the council of AIDESEP, which represents over 1800 communities in the Peruvian Amazon called for the repeal and shelving of recent legal reforms being pushed through Peru’s parliament that threaten to further weaken indigenous peoples’ rights to land in favour of development projects.

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