4 November, Kota Kinabalu: After a week of field investigations and searching discussions, the 6th Southeast Asian Conference on Human Rights and Agribusiness issued a resolution calling for moratoriums to halt the further hand out of concessions throughout the region. The meeting noted how land conflicts as a result of agribusiness expansion are proliferating and urged a pause in the hand out of licenses while community and indigenous peoples’ land rights are secured.
Following the submission of inputs on the human rights situation in Indonesia and Papua by indigenous peoples' organisations for the UN Universal Periodic Review in September 2016, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has considered, under its early warning and urgent action procedure, allegations of excessive use of force, arrests, killings and torture of persons belonging to the Papuan indigenous people in West Papua, Indonesia
In an unusually strongly worded formal communication to the Royal Thai Government, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has expressed its serious concerns regarding the eviction of Karen communities from the area of Kaeng Krachan National Park, and the subsequent nomination of the park as part of a World Heritage Site.
The national indigenous peoples’ alliance in Indonesia, the Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) have submitted a critical update to the UN Human Council’s Universal Periodic Review as the HRC prepares to review the human rights situation in Indonesia. Important threats to the security of indigenous peoples in the country are highlighted, as are recent legal changes in the country.
Karen representatives today vowed to appeal against the recent Thai court verdict that ruled the authorities did not break the law in burning their properties to forcefully evict them from Kaeng Krachan National Park. Indigenous rights groups have called for effective redress for the affected communities saying that the ruling violated international human rights law.
An Urgent Action / Early Warning submission has been submitted to UNCERD (UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) from the Karen Network on Culture and Environment, the Indigenous Peoples Education and Environment Foundation, the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact and Forest Peoples Programme, regarding the violation of the land righ
Decisions are due to be made about the controversial Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Bill 2015 in India.
The Bill would create a Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF), which means centre and state authorities - with little indigenous representation - would decide how to spend most of the compensatory funds rather than sharing them with forest-dependent communities.
A new video from handcrafted films made in collaboration with indigenous peoples and Indonesian campaigners exposes the destruction caused by oil palm companies in Indonesian Borneo (West Kalimantan).
Jail is the reward for Momonus and Jamaludin to defend their ancestral lands. For 12 years already these Semunying indigenous territories have been controlled by P.T. In Ledo Lestari. Their dense forest had been turned into a palm oil plantation landscape. Although they have been persecuted and abused in their ancestral land, their fight is not extinguished.
Human rights violations linked to agribusinesses in South East Asia compelled concerned human rights groups to come together at the 5th Regional Meeting on Human Rights and Agribusiness in South East Asia on 5 and 6 November 2015 in Puerto Princesa, on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.
INDONESIA: KomNasHAM, the Indonesian Human Rights Commission, just issued an English summary of its recent National Inquiry on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the Territories in the Forest Zone. Based on legal review, extensive testimony heard through seven hearings in all parts of the country and in depth investigation of 47 cases, the Inquiry found that despite Constitutional guarantees of the rights of the country’s indigenous peoples, these rights are systematically denied.
INDONESIA: The Yerisiam Gua, an indigenous people in Nabire district in Indonesian Papua have filed a complaint with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil against the palm oil developer, PT Nabire Baru.
A startling new report reveals that Asia Pulp and Paper’s massive new paper mill in South Sumatra could experience a substantial shortfall in fibre supply. To make up this shortfall, there is a risk that APP will seek fibre from other sources as happened in the past when the company chewed through natural forests in Riau and Jambi to supply its mills.
Meeting in Paris in October, the World Heritage Committee has decided to refer the nomination of the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex back to the Royal Thai Government “in order to allow it to more fully address the concerns that have been raised by the Office of the United Nation
Sabah (Malaysia) - The High Court of Sabah just settled a landmark agreement between the indigenous Dusun and Sungai peoples of Tongod District and Genting Plantations. The case, which has dragged on since 1997 and been in the courts since 2002, concerns a large-scale palm oil development on community lands in central Sabah (North Borneo).
Forest and Land Defenders in Cambodia suffer intimidation and brutal attacks
In December 2013, following pressure from its customers and investors, the palm oil giant Wilmar committed to delinking its entire supply chain, including joint ventures and third-party suppliers, from deforestation, peatland development, and human rights abuses. The commitment, to be fully implemented by December 2015, was welcomed by groups who had tracked and criticised Wilmar for its environmental destruction and human rights abuses. Two years on however, despite its promises, Wilmar has failed to resolve many long standing conflicts between its operations and impacted communities. The following material looks at a couple of cases where Wilmar has failed to resolve its conflicts with communities.
The Coalition Against Land Grabbing (CALG), Palawan, have released revised versions of three major reports produced mainly through the Ecosystem Alliance Fund. One report focuses on the case of oil palm expansion in Sarong (Municipality of Bataraza), another deals with the conversion of primary upland forest for rubber plantations on the West Coast of Aborlan and the last one concerns organised squatting by migrants into the forest land of indigenous Tagbanua tribes.