Resources

Securing Forest Peoples’ Rights and Tackling Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Deforestation and forest degradation have increased in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), despite the government’s commitment to safeguard its forests.

Illegal logging, unsustainable mining, commercial agriculture, and urban demand for fuelwood represent only some of the major long-term threats to the forests. By contrast, the traditional livelihood strategies of indigenous and local communities show a capacity to coexist with forests sustainably.

Enough is Enough - Stop the continued arrests and evictions of Sengwer forest indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands in Embobut Forest

In a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Sengwer call [on the President] to "stop the continued arrests and evictions of our Sengwer forest indigenous peoples from our ancestral lands (our community land) in Kaptirpai, Koropkwen and Kapkok glades in Embobut forest. We want our rights to live in, govern, manage and own our ancestral lands in the glades of Embobut forest recognized, secured, respected and protected in law, working hand in hand with state agencies to ensure effective and efficient conservation and protection of forests, water, wildlife and other natural resources therein".

The rights of Baka communities in the REDD+ Ngoyla-Mintom project in Cameroon

Of the indigenous hunter gatherer peoples of Cameroon (the peoples who self-identify as ‘autochthonous’), the Baka are the largest group, numbering about 40,000 and living in an area of 75,000 km2 in the south-west of the country; the Bagyeli/Bokola are the second-largest group with approximately 3,700 people living near the coast in an area of about 12,000 km2; and the third-largest group are the Bedzang who live in the forests north-west of Mbam (Ngambe-Tikar), in the Central Region.

Respecting Rights? Assessing Oil Palm Companies’ Compliance with FPIC Obligations: A case study of EPO and KLK LIBINC Estate in Grand Bassa, Liberia

This review is the result of several years of fieldwork by the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), and is the first step of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) funded project that examines putting into practice in Liberia the FAO Technical Guide entitled ‘Respecting free, prior and informed consent, Practical guidance for governments, companies, NGOs, indigenous peoples and local communities in relation to land acquisition’.

Respecting Rights? Assessing Oil Palm Companies’ Compliance with FPIC Obligations: A case study of Maryland Oil Palm Plantation in south-eastern Liberia

This review is the result of several years of fieldwork by the Liberian civil society organisation Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev), in partnership with the UK-based Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), and is part of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) funded project that examines putting into practice in Liberia the FAO Technical Guide entitled ‘Respecting free, prior and informed consent, Practical guidance for governments, companies, NGOs, indigenous peoples and local communities in relation to land acquisition’.

Is carbon funding hurting forest peoples? Evidence from Madagascar

The Paris Agreement of December 2015 encourages countries “…to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments…activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” (Article 5)  as a key policy instrument for climate change mitigation. The Agreement also acknowledges the need to respect human rights in all climate actions. In principle, new investment in protected areas and REDD+ projects, by the World Bank and other international donors, are tied to strong social safeguards. These should be designed to ensure that a project does no harm and respects the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. At present, UN climate change convention safeguards go further and require carbon funding to provide additional social and ‘non-carbon’ benefits, though World Bank safeguards still fall short of this.

SDI/SESDev/FPP letter expressing dissatisfaction with the RSPO Complaints Panel decision on Golden Veroleum Liberia

Letter from the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev) and Forest Peoples Programme to the Impacts Division and Complaints Panel (CP) of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), challenging the CP's 19th September 2015 decision and findings that Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) operations are broadly compliant with the RSPO standard.

Click here to read the letter

Conserving injustice: The unnecessary ongoing eviction and displacement of Sengwer communities in Embobut

The Sengwer community at Embobut has been dispersed, with most still living in their forests and glades high in the Cherangany Hills despite the evictions by the Government’s Kenya Forest Service (KFS). There they hide from the forest guards’ harassment, from having their now makeshift and temporary homes burnt and basic household property destroyed, as well as from being threatened with arrest despite the existence of a High Court injunction forbidding such harassment and evictions.

Forest Peoples Programme Dialogue on Community-based Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV)

From 16-19 Nov. 2015, FPP in collaboration with its local partners working across the Africa region organized in Yaoundé in Cameroon a meeting on Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV). The objective of this MRV meeting was to develop a common approach to community-based monitoring and set out appropriate indicators and tools for MRV that FPP and partners can mainstream throughout various initiatives on the ground to secure the rights of forest communities.

Herakles abandons all operations in Mundemba and Toko concession areas, Cameroon

Herakles Farms, a New York based investment Firm and the parent company of SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC) which has been under the spotlight of increasing local and international opposition for its intention to establish oil palm plantations in protected areas (including the iconic Korup National Park in south west Cameroon) has abandoned all operations in the Mundemba and Toko Subdivisions respectively and in Ndian Division on May 29, 2015.

Inga Dam in the DRC to Result in the Resettlement of up to 20,000 People

In March 2014, the World Bank Board of directors gave final approval for a grant of USD$73 million towards the construction of the Inga 3 Dam on the Congo River in the Bas Congo Province of the DRC.  Inga 3 represents the first phase of a vast programme to create the largest and most powerful hydroelectric network in the world, even surpassing the China’s Three Gorges Dam. 

Hollow Promises: An FPIC assessment of Golden Veroleum and Golden Agri-Resource’s palm oil project in Liberia

Several years of fieldwork by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and civil society partners in Liberia has revealed the extent to which palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) and its lead investor Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) are continuing to operate without the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of local communities within their concession area, despite the companies’ claims to have learned from past mistakes.