What are the prospects for securing the land rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, and women in the foreseeable future?
Significantly, the report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, under Goal 1 to “End Poverty”, sets a target to “Increase by x% the share of women and men, communities, and businesses with secure rights to land, property, and other assets”.
“We have never conserved. It is the way we live that conserves. These customary bylaws we have had forever, but we have not written them down until now."
The Endorois Welfare Council, IWGIA, Minority Rights Group and Forest Peoples Programme have written to UNESCO to express their continued concerns over the designation of the Lake Bogoria site (in Kenya) as a World Heritage Site without obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of the Endorois, who are the rightful owners of the land in and around the site.
The Centre for the Environment and for Development (CED) has published a new guide on forest monitoring for use by local communities. The aim of the guide is to inform and raise awareness of the benefits of forest monitoring by communities, and to present the main methods and necesssary tools to ensure good forest governance. It is intended to provide local forest communities with the necessary skills and tools to effectively identify and denounce activities of illegal forest exploitation taking place around them.
Growing global demand for palm oil is fuelling the large-scale expansion of oil palm plantations across Southeast Asia and Africa. Concerns about the environmental and social impacts of the conversion of vast tracts of land to monocrop plantations led in 2004 to the establishment of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which encourages oil palm expansion in ways that do not destroy high conservation values or cause social conflict. Numerous international agencies have also called for reforms of national frameworks to secure communities’ rights and to develop sound land governance.
MEDAN, INDONESIA (7 November, 2013)—Members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) are violating the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in the forests and peatlands of tropical nations worldwide, according to a new research publication released today. The study details the performance of 16 oil palm operations, many run by RSPO members, reporting on their failure to uphold human rights and environmental standards required.
Liberian NGO Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) have filed a complaint on behalf of 363 community members from Jogbahn Clan in Grand Bassa County with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) against Equatorial Palm Oil plc.
PRESS INFORMATION - For immediate release
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - On Thursday, 19th September, Rodrigue Katembo Mugaruka a warden in Virunga National Park and recipient of the Abraham Conservation Award was arrested by Congolese security forces and taken to Goma. We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the ranger's well-being and the circumstances of his arrest.
"GENEVA (07 August 2013) –States need to do more to honour and strengthen their treaties with indigenous peoples, no matter how long ago they were signed, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has said in a statement to mark International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August.
“Even when signed or otherwise agreed more than a century ago, many treaties remain the cornerstone for the protection of the identity, land and customs of indigenous peoples, determining the relationship they have with the State. They are thus of major significance to human rights today,” she said.
"The annual thematic report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, which he will present to the Human Rights Council in September 2013, addresses issues related to extractive industries and implications that they have for the rights of indigenous peoples.
This report summarises the findings from an independent assessment by Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) of the processes employed by Herakles/SGSOC to obtain the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of communities to be affected by their palm oil development project in Mundemba and Nguti Subdivisions in South West Cameroon. This assessment is framed in terms of the obligations on the company and government of Cameroon to comply with international law with respect to protecting community rights, and especially the need to secure the FPIC of local and indigenous peoples over the development of their customary lands.
Mutual recognition, mutual respect and mutual benefit are among the desirable attributes of all human relationships. Indigenous peoples and other forest peoples also expect these qualities in their relationships with others – be they governments, private corporations, NGOs or other indigenous peoples’ organisations and communities. This issue of Forest Peoples Programme’s E-Newsletter reports on the state of various relationships between forest peoples and different institutions – as these are forged, tested or broken –in the course of assertions for upholding basic human rights, social justice and solidarity.
Fifteen organisations working with indigenous women, including Forest Peoples Programme, have joined forces to emphasise the injustice and multiple forms of discrimination suffered by indigenous women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee). States are required to submit reports to the Committee every four years, describing legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures they have adopted to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Convention). The DRC’s report will be examined by the Committee on 11 July 2013 in the presence of a delegation of Congolese government representatives. The proceedings can be watched live online at: http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.
Celebrating 10 years of defending forest communities’ rights and forest conservation in the DRC
Le Réseau pour la Conservation et la Réhabilitation des Ecosystèmes Forestiers (Réseau CREF) is a non-profit organisation which was founded on 20 May 2003 in Kanyabayonga, Lubero Territory, in North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is a network of non-governmental organisations covering six territories (Walikale, Masisi, Nyiragongo, Rutshuru, Lubero and Beni) and three towns (Beni, Butembo and Goma) in North Kivu Province, DRC. Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) first started working with Réseau CREF almost two years ago when, in 2011, Réseau CREF became one of the partner organisations involved in the FPP project on ‘REDD financing, Human Rights and Economic Development for Sustainable Poverty Reduction of forest communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo’.
On the occasion of its 10th anniversary in May 2013, Réseau CREF Director, Alphonse Muhindo Valivambene, was interviewed by FPP about Réseau CREF’s mission, its objectives and future plans:
As part of its project on ‘REDD financing, Human Rights and Economic Development for Sustainable Poverty Reduction of Forest Communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’ Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and partners in the DRC: Actions pour les Droits, l’Environnement et la Vie (ADEV), le Centre d’Accompagnement des Autochtones Pygmées et Minoritaires Vulnérables (CAMV), le Cercle pour la Défense de l’Environnement (CEDEN) and le Réseau pour la Conservation et la Réhabilitation des Écosystèmes Forestiers (Réseau CREF) have developed a set of posters on the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). By combining pictures and short pieces of text, the posters depict the stages of a process that respects the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to free, prior and informed consent with regard to projects likely to affect their lands, territories and natural resources.
Letter to request that the situation of indigenous women of Cameroon be included in the list of questions arising from the Cameroon government's periodic report, for the attention of the pre-session working group (57th Session of the CEDAW Committee)
In preparation for the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples to be hosted by the UN General Assembly in 2014, Indigenous Peoples meeting in Alta, Norway, have reaffirmed their inalienable rights to self-determination and to sovereignty over their natural resources.
Introduction: We Indigenous Peoples and Nations (hereinafter referred to as Indigenous Peoples) representing the 7 global geo-political regions including representatives of the women’s caucus and the youth caucus have gathered in the traditional territories and lands of the Sami people at Alta, Norway.