Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), local communities, and Indigenous people groups in the Congo Basin have convened to address the emerging challenges of palm oil development in the region. Hosted by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in Douala, Cameroon, meetings were held from December 2-4, 2014 attended by nearly 40 civil society experts and community leaders from over 25 organizations. Insightful presentations were made, and strategic reflections and discussions took place in order to address communities' challenges related to palm oil expansion in the region.
Tanzania indigenous organisations have written to the World Bank to express their concern at the overall weakening of the policy requirements for indigenous peoples in the draft of the proposed World Bank Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS). Concerns include implications for the denial of the existence and rights of indigenous peoples under international human rights law, lack of meaningful and effective participation, forced eviction and lack of access to information.
The global forest crisis is worsening and infringements of the rights of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities are rising, according to a detailed assessment of nine country cases. Climate change mitigation and conservation policies must place community land rights and human rights centre-stage if they are to achieve the goal of sustainably reducing deforestation says the report.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo: WWF and the DRC government’s protected areas authority have agreed to reconsider the status of a controversial protected area after meeting yesterday with representatives of local communities who were threatened with loss of their lands and access to natural resources on which they depend for their livelihoods and survival.
Thousands of homes belonging to hunter-gatherer Sengwer people living in the Embobut forest in the Cherangani hills were burned down earlier this year by Kenya forest service guards who had been ordered to clear the forest as part of a carbon offset project that aimed to reduce emissions from deforestation.
These resolutions were drafted during a seminar organized by the UK-based NGO Forest Peoples Programme and involving community members from Nguti, Ebanga, Sikam, Babensi II, Fabe, Massaka Bima, Mobenge, Ikoti-Ngolo, Ndiba-Ngolo, Oron-Isangele, Meangwe II Ngolo, Bweme-Ngolo, Lipenja II-Batanga, Toko and Baro, along with community support organisations, including the Centre for Environment and Development, Struggle to Economise Future Environment, Nature Cameroon and Greenpeace, who came to learn about their rights under national and international law with regard to developments on their customary lands.
Published on 10 August 2014, this article by Peter kitelo examines how the Constitution of Kenya 2010 aimed to establish institutions that would promote aspirations of the people, based on integrity, equality, social justice, and people’s democracy.
On 8th February 2013, the Batwa of Uganda submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court of Uganda seeking recognition of their status as indigenous peoples under international law and redress for the historic marginalisation and continuous human rights violations they have experienced as a result of being dispossessed of their ancestral forest lands by the government.
Before their eviction, the Batwa had lived in the forest since immemorial times. The measures taken to remove the Batwa, to create ‘environmentally protected’ areas, and to limit access and use of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Echuya Central Forest Reserve, resulted in the violation of the Batwa’s property rights over their ancestral lands. While colonial protection of the forest started in the 1920s, most Batwa continued to live in the forest and to use its resources until the 1990s; when they were evicted, without consultation, adequate compensation or offer of alternative land.
While focusing in particular on the German financing of rainforest protection in Cameroon, this report also covers the broader issue of how Cameroon’s forest policies are shaped by the REDD process. It takes a case study approach, examining the way such forest protection policies impact on local communities by focusing in on the specific example of those communities whose land has been overlaid by the Takamanda National Park.
The UK-listed company, Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO), which is threatening to seize land owned by Liberians in defiance of commitments by Liberia’s President, will today receive a visit from affected communities. Members of the Jogbahn Clan, together with representatives from Liberian and international NGOs, will deliver a petition with over 90,000 signatures, reminding EPO that it does not have community consent to expand onto their lands, and that doing so could escalate violence. EPO’s past operations in Liberia have triggered allegations of conflict and human rights abuses.
Illegal and corrupt behaviour by foreign-owned companies engaged in establishing large palm oil plantations not only threatens local communities and forested areas throughout west and central Africa, but will seriously undermine legislation being set up between African countries and the European Union to prevent just that says Greenpeace International.
In a new report published today, Greenpeace reveals how one company in Cameroon, has colluded with government officials to illegally obtain a permit to export timber that itself was illegally felled in order to establish a palm oil plantation in the South West region of the country.
Our partners in the Sustainable Development Institute in Liberia are asking for international help to remind the Liberian President of her promise to protect community land from the UK company Equatorial Palm Oil UK. They are asking as many people as possible to sign their petition.
World Bank Forest Carbon Fund approves Emissions Reduction Concept, amid continuing concerns over rights and livelihood impactsThe Ninth meeting of the FCPF Carbon Fund held on April 9-11 in Brussels approved a controversial Emissions Reduction Programme Idea Note (ER-PIN) for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), despite serious concerns raised by international organisations, including FPP, over potential severe negative social impacts. The DRC ER-PIN was approved alongside proposals from Ghana, Mexico and Nepal, while ER-PINs from Republic of Congo and Chile were re-invited for consideration during the next Carbon Fund meeting in June 2014.
This is a case study on the Maï Ndombe REDD Project, which is financially supported by the German based company "Forest Carbon Group AG" through the local company ERA Carbon Offsets (now known as Offsetters Climate Solutions Inc.). The objective of the case study is to examine the implementation of this project especially in relation to the rights of indigenous and local communities to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the elaboration and implementation of project activities, in order to (i) help stakeholders in Germany better understand the situation with regard to the
The UN General Assembly during its 69th session, on 22-23 September this year, will convene a high-level plenary meeting - the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples – to review the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) since its adoption in 2007, and to identify outstanding issues and actions pertaining to indigenous peoples and development.
The lead article in the last FPP E-Newsletter focused on the superb progress the Ogiek of Chepkitale, Mount Elgon, Kenya, have made in their efforts to secure their forests and livelihoods by writing down their sustainability bylaws and embarking on the process of enforcing them. This process has resulted in their arresting charcoal burners, and the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has now begun to restrict some of the charcoal burners’, as well as encroaching agriculturalist activities that were leading to the destruction of the indigenous forest.