9th Southeast Asia Conference on Business & Human Rights

Kuya Berto, one of Kanawan’s forest rangers

Kuya Berto, one of Kanawan’s forest rangers 

9th Southeast Asia Conference on Business & Human Rights

Between 27-30 October 2019, representatives from indigenous peoples’ organisations, civil society and National Human Rights Institutions from across Southeast Asia are coming together in Subic Bay, the Philippines for the 9th Southeast Asia conference on human rights and business.

This year’s event will focus on land conflicts resulting from renewable energy projects such as solar and wind farms, hydropower and agro-commodity farming for use in biofuel production, as well as the potential positive impact that renewable energy projects can have when led by, and initiated by, indigenous communities themselves.

The forum will include panels exploring the gendered impacts of land struggles, as well as a panel on Special Economic Zones  an increasingly popular mechanism in Southeast Asia for promoting investments  and their impacts on indigenous peoples’ rights. This latter panel builds on the discussions at last year’s event in Thailand.

Participants have been invited to visit the nearby communities of Pastolan and Kanawan to see first-hand the experiences of indigenous peoples, where special economic zones have been declared without prior consent, and where co-management agreements with local authorities are being explored and negotiated.

The event is co-organised by Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID), Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education (Tebtebba Foundation), the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) and Forest Peoples Programme. It is funded by the Stockholm Environment Institute, Rights and Resources Initiative and the Samdhana Institute