Indigenous peoples around the globe are making themselves heard in international arenas and at the national level. But many challenges remain in the fight for full recognition of all their rights.
World Bank Confronts Pygmy Challenge Over Logging
WASHINGTON – The World Bank is scrambling to respond to complaints that it broke its own rules to support commercial logging at the expense of Pygmy lands and livelihoods in the war-wrecked Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Indigenous People See Common Ground in Struggles
Stephen de Tarczynski
MELBOURNE – Indigenous people around the world are finding common cause in their struggles to retain their identities and their land.
“A Mapuche person without land can’t be a Mapuche,” said Cristian Qechupán Huenuñir, a Mapuche activist from Chile, at a plenary session on Indigenous Struggles and Resistance at the Latin America and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum.
Indigenous Congress Demands Teeth for UN Declaration
LA PAZ – Indigenous leaders held a regional congress in Bolivia to discuss strategies to oblige governments to make state policy the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 13.
The congress, Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberta Menchú said, is a way of demonstrating support for the work of Bolivia’s leftwing indigenous President Evo Morales, who convened a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution to recognise indigenous peoples’ cultural values, customs and right to land and self-determination.
Indigenous People Make Best Forest Custodians
CHIANG MAI, Thailand – The millions of indigenous people living across Asia and the Pacific are finally gaining recognition for the key role the play in forest conservation.
NICARAGUA: Of Forests, Floods, Fatalities and Famine
José Adán Silva
MANAGUA – The forces of nature are giving Nicaragua no respite. After the hurricane that devastated the country’s northeastern Caribbean coast in September, weeks of torrential rains have claimed lives and caused economic damages, and now the FAO is warning of famine.
INDIA: Tigers Lose in Park vs People Conflict
SARISKA, Rajasthan – Three years after 22 tigers were brazenly hunted down by poachers in the Sariska Tiger Reserve, a protected park in the Aravalli hills of northwestern India, the blame game has not ended.
Q&A: “We’ve Stopped Believing in Ourselves”
Interview with Michael Byers, Canadian author and political analyst
VANCOUVER – Dr. Michael Byers, a professor of politics and international law at the University of British Columbia, recently released a provocative book titled “Intent for a Nation – A Relentlessly Optimistic Manifesto for Canada’s Role in the World.”
He spoke with IPS about Canada’s efforts to thwart the Universal Declaration on Indigenous Peoples.
SRI LANKA: Tamils Traumatised by War, Tsunami – Study
COLOMBO – Residents of war-wracked Jaffna city in northern Sri Lanka are a community on the run; every family has a bag packed with essentials, ready to flee at a moment’s notice, a new research study reports.
Peruvian Government Accused of Poor Track Record
LIMA – The Peruvian government will be asked to explain Friday to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) decrees that human rights groups say are aimed at clamping down on social protest, and what it has done to protect the rights of uncontacted indigenous peoples.
CANADA: Native Way of Life Vanishing into the Clear-Cut
VANCOUVER – As the Ontario election draws to a close on Wednesday, a long-running land rights battle continues in the east-central Canadian province between First Nations groups and mining and logging interests that have been granted concessions to exploit the resources in a vast boreal forest known as Grassy Narrows.
PERU: New Census to Make Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Count
LIMA – The Peruvian state will repay a longstanding debt to indigenous people in the country’s Amazon region by including them in a national census in a way that pays attention to their particular social, economic and cultural characteristics. But experts say this is only a first step.
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