Friday, February 25, 2011
Rome, 18 February 2011 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has announced the establishment of an indigenous peoples’ forum under the Fund’s auspices, following a two-day workshop that concluded today at IFAD Headquarters in Rome.
The group determined that the first global meeting of the indigenous people’s forum will take place in conjunction with the IFAD Governing Council in 2013
Indigenous peoples, who make up one-third of the world’s one billion extreme poor in rural areas, are among the most vulnerable and marginalized of any group. Spread over 70 countries and representing diverse cultural backgrounds, they share many common challenges such as limited access to healthcare and education, loss of control over lands, displacement and violations of basic human rights
IFAD’s special interest in supporting them is based not only on poverty reduction, social justice and humanitarian concerns, but also the value that indigenous people in many cases contribute to sustainable agriculture, especially given the rich knowledge and understanding of ecosystem management that they have.
Welcoming the participants to the workshop on 17 February at IFAD headquarters, Kanayo Nwanze, President of IFAD said: “the work we do at the forum will be important, but we all agree that it is just one step in a long-term commitment to reaching our dual goals of equity and economic opportunity for indigenous peoples.”
“It is important that an indigenous peoples forum in IFAD be established so that the indigenous peoples will have an opportunity to share their views and recommendations on how IFAD can respond more effectively to indigenous peoples’ needs, aspirations and priorities” said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Convenor, Asian Indigenous Women’s Network and Former Chair of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). “It will also enhance further the partnership between IFAD and indigenous peoples,” she concluded.
Mirna Cunningham Kain, Chair Center for autonomy and development of indigenous peoples in Nicaragua and member of the UNPFII, declared “IFAD’s policy of engagement with indigenous peoples offers an opportunity to address injustice that indigenous peoples has suffered in rural areas in the world and the establishment of an indigenous forum in IFAD is an innovative step, gives us voice and visibility that can and should help change rural development practices in our countries”.
According to Joseph Ole Simel, Chairman of Africa indigenous peoples climate change network and Executive Director, Mainyoito pastoralist integrated development organization in Kenya “IFAD initiative on indigenous peoples forum is a great idea of the 21st century for indigenous peoples”. The forum will assist or an able both indigenous peoples and IFFAD to deal with the problem of underdevelopment in a fundamental way. It will be the engine that will facilitate us to direct our efforts at the root causes of extreme poverty among indigenous peoples,” he concluded.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
- Phl suspends issuance of new mining permits (philstar.com) February 18, 2011
- Paje to MGB: Stop accepting new mining applications The Philippine Star, 02/19/2011
- Philippines suspends issuance of new mining permits (Xinhua, 2011-02-18)
- Uphill battle vs mining in Palawan begins ABS-CBN News, 02/23/2011
- How to use participatory videos to fostering reflection and joint actions while establishing strategic grass-root alliances against extractive-industries;
- How to produce and circulate participatory videos to be used for exerting pressure at the national and international policy level.
Washington, D.C., February 17, 2011—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today published its report Indigenous and Tribal Peoples' Rights over their Ancestral Lands and Natural Resources.
The protection of indigenous peoples' right to property over their ancestral lands is an issue of particular importance to the IACHR because the effective enjoyment of that right involves not only protection of an economic unit but also protection of the human rights of a collectivity whose economic, social, and cultural development is based on its relationship with the land, which is the basis for its worldview. As a result, the Commission has long paid particular attention to indigenous and tribal peoples’ right to communal property over their lands and natural resources, as a right in itself, and as a guarantee of the effective enjoyment of other basic rights.
The right to property pursuant to Article 21 of the American Convention on Human Rights thus has singular importance for indigenous and tribal peoples, because the guarantee of the right to territorial property is a fundamental basis for the development of indigenous communities’ culture, spiritual life, integrity and economic survival. It is a right to territory that encompasses the use and enjoyment of its natural resources. It is directly related, even a pre-requisite, to enjoyment of the rights to an existence under conditions of dignity, to food, water, health, life, honor, dignity, freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of association, the rights of the family, and freedom of movement and residence.
The report the IACHR is publishing today compiles and discusses the scope of indigenous and tribal peoples’ rights over their territories, lands, and natural resources. In this regard, it analyses the obligation of the States to consult with indigenous peoples and guarantee their participation in decisions regarding any measure that affects their territories. The State has to consult them on any matters that might affect them, the purpose of such consultations should be to obtain their free and informed consent, and they must be carried out in accordance with their customs and traditions, through culturally adequate procedures and taking into account their traditional decision-making methods.
The report is based on the legal instruments of the Inter-American system, as interpreted by the Commission and the Inter-American Court in the light of developments in general international human rights law. It also aims to point out specific problems, guidelines, and best practices to enhance the enjoyment of human rights by indigenous and tribal peoples across the hemisphere.
A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Rome: Rome was the venue this past week for a crucial high-speed two-day workshop on the creation of a Forum to redress pressing agriculturally based concerns involving indigenous peoples.
Delegates representing indigenous groups from Latin America/Caribbean, Africa and Asia/Pacific gathered at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to hammer out details on the principles and framework of the Forum. The Forum is platform by which partnerships with indigenous peoples with regard to agricultural activities can be strengthened, and institutionalized dialog between the United Nations and indigenous peoples can be promulgated. The creation of the Forum is obligated under the principles and auspices of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
One hundred people including IFAD staff and observers were on-hand to witness the proceedings. Many of the delegates were dressed in their traditional pomp, which made for a splash of eye-catching color. Proceedings were carried out in on a tri-lingual basis. English, as the official business language of the United Nations, was heard most throughout the elongated and acoustically smart IFAD conference space. French and Spanish were heard almost as often. Linguistic experts in cavernous booths behind the scenes feverishly interpreted the mélange to provide delegates with unwavering translation.
The right to self-determination is at the very heart of issues surrounding indigenous peoples’ struggles. Full participation in decision-making connected to rights to land and resources is seen as a very necessary step to express self-determination. This also includes the ability to re-define the definition of “poor” and “poverty.” The concept of poverty to many indigenous groups is foreign, and likewise do not consider themselves to be “poor.” Many of those representing indigenous groups at the workshop wanted a common understanding and conceptual framework, which addressed systemic communication and agricultural processes between IFAD and themselves so that their voices were well-understood going forward. Also expressed was that full participation and two-way information sharing is crucial to eliminate any overly “top-down” processes in the creation of agricultural policy carried out at local levels.
Other issues brought to the fore were climate change, development aggression, identity, totemism, gender balance, livelihood representation, equal regional community representation, and lived experience. This workshop was not a policy making fora, but a space to work out details of an agreed upon policy framework. The hope is the that Forum will provide a strong framework and continuum to allow for open dialog between and among indigenous communities, national governments, and IFAD on very important agricultural projects. The outcomes will certainly have reciprocal importance for us all. To follow the action, please see IFAD’s website: www.ifad.org.
By Sam Yellen
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
This video was shot during the making of a participatory video in Telecho village, Highlands Ethiopia. It is meant to show in 10 easy steps the process used during this participatory video training. Fernanda Baumhardt and Patricia Santos trained 14 youth age 14- 16 that have no access to electricity and TV to hold a camera, speak on a microphone and do interviews, making their own film.
This Video has been produced in the framework of the project: "Promotion of Collaborative Spatial Information Management and Communication in East and Southern Africa", Telecho, Ethiopia
Project coordination and funding: Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) and MELCA - Ethiopia