On 4 – 6 November, National Human Rights Commissions and civil society organisations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Lao PDR and Myanmar, congregated in Yangon for the Fourth Regional Conference on Human Rights and Agribusiness in Southeast Asia. This year it was hosted by the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, co-organised by Forest Peoples Programme and RECOFTC – The Centre for People and Forests, and supported by the Rights and Resources Initiative, Ford Foundation, the Climate and Land Use Alliance, and the UK Department for International Development.
‘The indigenous women’s voices and “her stories”, as an integral part of the women’s movement and indigenous peoples’ movement, remain faint. This reflects the overall conditions of indigenous women as relatively more marginalized, discriminated against and dis-empowered at all levels. It also illustrates the urgent need to strengthen indigenous women’s organizations and institutions, as well as their leadership and effective participation, in all matters that concern them as women and as indigenous peoples.’ Joan Carling, Secretary General, AIPP.
This publication, published by AIPP, is a collection of stories of struggle of some indigenous women in Asia who directly face the negative impacts of mining. This publication is part of the Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders Network (IPHRD Net) efforts to inform actors and stakeholders of the efforts of indigenous women and their communities to address violations of their rights, particularly their collective rights as indigenous peoples. The IPHRD Net is supported by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
Projects and programme interventions of multilateral development banks have a record of systematic and widespread human rights violations for indigenous peoples in Asia. In many countries, indigenous peoples have been subjected to widespread displacement and irreversible loss of traditional livelihoods. Behind these human rights violations is the denial of indigenous peoples’ rights to their lands, territories and resources and to their right to give their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) to projects and programme interventions, including those in the name of sustainable development and human development. Among them, the large infrastructure (dams and highway construction) and environmental “conservation” projects have had the most detrimental adverse impacts on indigenous peoples. There are a good number of examples of such projects that have negatively impacted indigenous peoples’ communities in Asian countries, some of which follow below.
Para os povos indígenas da Ásia, os projetos e intervenções dos bancos multilaterais de desenvolvimento têm um histórico de violações sistemáticas e generalizadas dos direitos humanos. Em muitos países, os povos indígenas são sujeitos a deslocamentos generalizados e perdas irreversíveis dos seus modos de subsistência tradicionais. Por trás destas violações de direitos humanos está a negação dos direitos dos povos indígenas às suas terras, territórios e recursos, e ao seu direito ao consentimento prévio, livre e informado (FPIC na sigla em inglês) em projetos e intervenções, inclusive os que levam a bandeira de desenvolvimento humano e sustentável. Entre eles, os grandes projetos de “conservação” ambiental e de infraestrutura (represas e construção de rodovias) tiveram os piores impactos prejudiciais nos povos indígenas. Existe um bom número de exemplos de projetos que tiveram um impacto negativo nas comunidades indígenas nos países asiáticos, alguns dos quais encontram-se abaixo.
As multiple international agencies adopt and update their social and environmental policies, this special edition Forest Peoples Programme E-Newsletter reviews experiences of communities and civil society with the safeguard policies of various international financial institutions.
À medida que as agências internacionais adotam e atualizam suas políticas ambientais e sociais, esta edição especial do Boletim Eletrônico Informativo FPP examina as experiências das comunidades e sociedade civil com as políticas de salvaguarda de várias instituições financeiras internacionais.
The following article, by Maurizio Farhan-Ferrari, Coordinator of the FPP's Environmental Governance Programme, has just been published on the Landscapes Blog for People, Food and Nature:
The international meeting of South East Asian Regional Human Rights Commissions on ‘Human Rights and Business: Plural Legal Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Institutional Strengthening and Legal Reform’ hosted by the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission (KOMNASHAM), in conjunction with Sawit Watch and Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) was held in Bali, Indonesia, from 28th November to 1st December 2011.
PRESS INFORMATION – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A landmark workshop, “Human Rights and Business: Plural Legal Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Institutional Strengthening and Legal Reform”, is taking place at the Santika Hotel, Kuta, Bali, from today until 1 December 2011, convened by the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and supporting NGOs SawitWatch and Forest Peoples Programme. The event will be attended by over 60 participants, from the National Human Rights Commissions of the Southeast Asian region, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Human Rights Commission, notable academics, representatives of indigenous peoples, as well as members of supportive national and international NGOs.
Nur Kholis, Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), said,
“We are taking this initiative in collaboration with the other human rights commissioners of South East Asia as a way of ensuring a more balanced approach to development based on respect for peoples’ rights, with an emphasis on the need to secure livelihoods and the right to food.”
Synthesis Paper - Customary sustainable use of biodiversity by indigenous peoples and local communities: Examples, challenges, community initiatives and recommendations relating to CBD Article 10(c)
A Synthesis Paper based on Case Studies from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Suriname and Thailand.
Cyclone Aila hit the south-western coastal belt of Bangladesh, more specifically the Satkhira and Khulna Districts, on 25 May 2009, affecting almost 2.3 million people and immediately killing 325. The tidal surge, which measured 10-13m, inundated the region and washed away huge numbers of houses, livestock, crops and other resources within a very short time.
With the rapid growth of industrial prawn production there has been a corresponding upsurge in eco-label certification schemes that seek to improve the industry. However, meaningful human rights considerations are rarely incorporated in the formulation of these schemes. The Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) continues to work with coastal community networks to raise awareness of the problems of industrial aquaculture and to push for meaningful human rights considerations in the development of future eco-labelling schemes.
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW) report the killing of a youth by forest personnel, and protest the failure to bring such atrocities to justice.