Friday, November 18, 2011

The Voice of the Ogiek (video)

In 2006 a little known ethnic group – called the Ogiek - created a three-dimensional map of their ancestral land in Kenya. In the past members of this indigenous community were regarded as second class citizen. Today, their story has gained international recognition. The Kenyan government is increasingly listening to their voice and including them in a dialogue over the future of their community and of the Mau Forest.

This is the story of how the Ogiek found their voice …

For more information on the case visit:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Results of High Level Round Table on Pastoralism, Traditional Knowledge, Meteorology and Implementation of Policies of Climate Adaptation

N’DJAMENA, 9 November 2011 - Following the two-day conference on adaptation, a high level panel of two Chadian Ministers and representatives of national and international expert technical agencies contributed to a round table dialogue on adaptation and pastoralism.

The high level panel listened to a report back from African pastoralists on their recommendations and observations, and then took the floor to share their perspectives on key questions related to indigenous pastoralists, traditional knowledge, meteorology and platforms of adaptation policy and implementation. The session was chaired by Mme Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, member of the IPACC Executive Committee and Director of AFPAT. Mme Oumarou Ibrahim welcomed contributions from the respective Ministers and members of the high level round table in response to the indigenous peoples’ restitution of the two day workshop.

His Excellency, the national Minister of Urban and Rural Hydrology, General Mahamat Ali Abdallah Nassour:

The Honourable Minister noted the current challenges
  • Pastoralist populations are increasing, with a steady southward migration of communities in Chad. And yet grazing lands are progressively shrinking, degrading or being used for other types of land use. How do we find a balance for sustainability in a changing and unstable context? 
  • Pastoralists have a substantial body of traditional knowledge that needs to be taken into consideration in the process of developing adaptation policies. How do we ensure a closer collaboration between pastoralists and scientists?
  • There are increasing conflicts among farmers and pastoralists. How do we ensure a peaceful cohabitation?

The opportunities for government to respond to the challenges include:
  • Adaptation requires recognition of the facts of climate change and vulnerability, and should draw on both science and traditional knowledge to find appropriate responses;
  • Scientific interaction with pastoralists is important for Chad. We are facing policy challenges in a wide range of domains, including the environment, land use, water management, and changes to the overall climate. This nexus creates increased risks of conflict, which we must avoid through effective policy making and full participation of the concerned communities, notably pastoralists;
  • Africa needs to develop adequate policies and deployment of financial resources to overcome the constraints (i.e. conflicts over scarce resources) and ensure a robust and inclusive planning and evaluation process;
  • Atmospheric sciences allow forecasting of weather and seasonal pattern. Efforts need to be made in timely sharing these information with those concerned;
  • Financing is an important element in building the national adaptation platforms. International solidarity, whether in expertise or financing remains very valuable for Least Developed Countries. Part of the challenge for Chad is to accurately cost the adaptation process, identify what national resources are currently available, and what type of gap needs to be addressed.

His Excellency, the national Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, the Honourable Dr Djime Adoum
  • Traditional knowledge must be included in science because it is itself a form of science;
  • Strongly acknowledges the value of traditional knowledge (e.g. local breeds and traditional varieties of crops are emerging as more resistant and less demanding in terms of husbandry);
  • Most food production systems, farming, pastoralism and fishing in the country are still run at subsistence levels – this reality needs to shape policy making;
  • The introduction of improved, new or hybrid varieties require additional inputs, such as more water or fertilisers, which has cost implications for communities;
  • Traditional varieties and breeds may yield less, but usually they will reliably yield some useful output even under high stress conditions. Under similar high stress conditions modern varieties / breeds may fail leaving no material benefits. The balance of new varieties and traditional varieties needs careful consideration to ensure food security;
  • By having an inclusive approach to national adaptation policy making we create a blue print for adaptive and successful implementation – we can address real challenges that the communities and scientists have jointly identified;
  • Innovative ICTs will be used to capture and document local knowledge in the framework of the project;
  • There is a difference between a drought and a famine. Famine is not always the result of droughts; it is the product of insufficient planning and preparation. 
  • National budgetary procedures need to take into consideration the inter-sectoral impact of climate change, and ensure early planning for adaptation. It is not wise to wait until a crisis unfolds before looking for resources to address it;
  • A new framework for establishing a comprehensive Management Information System (MIS) will be discussed at the Ministry before the end of the year and deployed within 2012. The system will cover different knowledge systems including traditional knowledge.
Further contributions were provided by:
  • Dr Jose Camacho, Scientific Officer, Agricultural Meteorology Division, Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch (CLPA), Climate and Water Department (CLW)World Meteorological Organisation;
  • Dr Baba El-Hadj Mallah, Director General, Centre National d’Appui à la Recherche et Conseil (CNAR), Ministere de l’Enseignement Superieur;
  • Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng, Senior Research Fellow of the Technology, Specialist for Basic and Engineering Sciences, UNESCO (Nairobi, Kenya);
  • Mr Giacomo Rambaldi, Senior Programme Coordinator, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA );
  • Mr Frederick Kihara, Global Environment Facility – Small Grants Projects, Kenya

These contributions are provided in the full report of the N’Djamena conference which can be downloaded from

The conference was closed by His Excellency, General Mahamat Ali Abdallah Nassour, Minister of Urban and Rural Hydrology. The Minister noted the valuable work which had been done by the delegates and looked forward to the presentation of the results at the 17th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, due to take place in Durban, South Africa from 28 November until 10 December, 2011.

Read more:

N’Djamena Declaration on Adaptation to Climate Change, indigenous Pastoralism, Traditional Knowledge and Meteorology in Africa

Hôtel Novotel de N’Djamena, N’Djamena, Republic of Chad, 7-9 November 2011

Climate change poses one of the greatest challenges to humanity. Global warming and associated climatic changes are impacting on pastoralist peoples with increasing frequency and severity. African indigenous peoples’ delegates at the N’Djamena conference on adaptation noted first-hand experiences of droughts, flooding, dislocation of seasonal cycles, changes in the composition of grazing lands, and changes in accessibility and quality of water.

Indigenous herders from five African countries (Chad, Niger, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa) attended a two-day conference in N’Djamena Chad to share with each other and with meteorologists about how traditional knowledge and climate science can be combined to respond to current threats and risks. The conference also considered the need for effective participation of indigenous peoples, including herders, in national adaptation platforms and other national processes to ensure peace, sustainable livelihoods and biological conservation in the face of worsening climate instability.

Indigenous peoples’ delegates worked with the National Meteorological Services of Chad, the National Centre for Support to Research (CNAR), as well as international agencies, including the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), UNESCO, the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) – Small Grants Projects, and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation EU-ACP (CTA). The results of the workshop were shared with the Honourable Minister of Urban and Rural Hydrology, and the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation of the Republic of Chad. This declaration constitutes to the key results of the conference and the day of restitution.

Key findings included:
  • Traditional knowledge and climate science are both critically important for adaptation policy and supporting resilience building of rural communities necessary to cope with climate change;
  • Traditional knowledge and climate science need to be shared to create synergies that can inform adaptation policy, monitoring and assessment. It is through a combination of both knowledge systems that we are likely to achieve better synchronisation between forecasting, anticipatory responses, appropriate governance responses and feed-back. Both knowledge systems need to be converted into media that is understandable and usable in national adaptation platforms and for public use;
  • Climate change amplifies social and economic vulnerability, with the risk of serious conflict and poverty. An essential element of climate adaptation is ensuring good governance, human rights and social equity to maintain local, national and regional harmony during times of stress;
  • The United Nations’ Cancún Adaptation Framework, the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) may be best effected through well designed and funded national adaptation platforms;
  • National adaptation platforms need to include a diverse range of rural and urban communities, with particular attention to participatory approaches to facilitate the contributions of pastoralists, hunter-gathers, farmers and fisherfolk. 
  • National adaptation platforms need to facilitate a two-way flow of ideas, information and strategies for resilience building and equitable sharing of costs and benefits. The inputs to and outputs from the platforms need to be meaningful and relevant. 
Conference summary

Pastoralism evolved in Africa specifically as an adaptive response to climate and environmental conditions which limited the expansion of agriculture. Pastoralism has co-evolved as diverse cultural and economic systems within ecological niches around Africa. The result has been millennia of managing sheep, camels and cattle in different ecosystems and landscapes throughout long cycles of climatic changes. Pastoralism has always been premised on the need to maintain biodiversity as the underpinning of human and livestock well-being.

Climate change in combination with other drivers of declining biodiversity has reduced the effectiveness of pastoral societies to maintain both social harmony and biological resilience. At the same time, the reduction in agricultural capacity will likely lead to increased reliance on pastoralism and agro-pastoralism for African food security.

The N’Djamena conference and Declaration were elaborated as part of IPACC and AFPAT’s support for the Cancún Adaptation Framework, which was adopted by the 16th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, held in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010. IPACC is a contributor to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (UNFCCC NWP).

IPACC and AFPAT were influenced by the World Meteorological Organisation’s World Climate Conference – 3, held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2009. IPACC and AFPAT have initiated cooperation with both WMO and the African Centre for Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD). The CTAis a partner of IPACC, assisting with building technical, information and policy capacity. CTA and the Open Society in Southern Africa (OSISA) were the principal funders behind the N’Djamena conference. Additional conceptual and policy support has been provided by the Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems unit of the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The results of climate change include greater vulnerability of ecosystems as well as threatening human social and economic systems. Climate change is impacting negatively on health, livelihoods, peace and security. While the only answer is an urgent, robust and binding global agreement on the reduction of Green House Gas emissions, the reality is that Africa must take urgent steps to adapt to climate instability, reduce vulnerability and build resilience of both natural and human systems.

Despite the very serious risks from climate change, the N’Djamena conference delegates noted that climate change is only one element of the many challenges facing African indigenous pastoralists. Changes in land use and occupancy, different forms of pollution (e.g. radioactive pollution of aquifers), drylands deforestation, the negative impacts of extractive industries and a general decline in biodiversity across Africa are all contributing to growing poverty and vulnerability of indigenous peoples.

The following key issues and recommendations emerged from the consultations.

Knowledge Management

It was agreed by delegates that knowledge management is centrally important to successful adaptation.  Traditional Knowledge (TK) / Indigenous Knowledge Systems are valuable resources for monitoring, analysing and responding to climate change. TK has the benefit of including information on biology and ecosystems, while simultaneously locating this in a landscape approach to sustainability. TK exists in cultural systems which contribute to governance, equity, rights and stewardship responsibilities. TK thus combines knowledge with wisdom, values and social obligations. TK is itself an integration of science, skills and a normative framework for sustainable living.

Delegates noted that atmospheric (meteorological and climatic) science has much to offer rural communities including pastoralists. All participants emphasised that atmospheric science is a vitally important knowledge source that needs to be widely available to all scales of decision-makers. Climatological modelling and early warning systems can help pastoralists make informed decisions about carrying capacity, transhumance, nature conservation, water management and risk reduction.

The challenge for both systems of knowledge - traditional and scientific - is how they can be made usable for decision-makers, and how they can be used in synergy with each other to ensure a robust, shared approach to adaptation. Attention and expertise is required to facilitate the intercultural mediation of science and TK, generating understandable and usable research that helps decision-makers at local, national and regional scales.

Delegates called on African States to recognise the value of combining Traditional Knowledge along with atmospheric sciences to achieve synergies in policy making. Both systems of knowledge need to be interpreted to make them useful in adaptation planning and implementation. Delegates recommended facilitating a sustained dialogue between holders of the different knowledge systems, on-going cooperation, and effective integration of both knowledge systems in national, regional and international platforms.

Delegates noted that there is evidence that local varieties of livestock and plants appear more drought-, flood- and disease resistant than hybrid or alien species. Local varieties may have lower yield or commercial value, but their sustainability means that they provide greater security in the medium and long term. They may also be more appropriate to maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. Delegates recommended that more research funding and technical support should be provided to help protect indigenous species of plants and livestock.

Traditional knowledge does not exist independently of indigenous institutions. Valorising TK also means recognising how indigenous peoples hold, manage and innovate their knowledge systems. Traditional leaders, religious leaders, shaman, herders, oasis dwellers, metal and leather workers, traditional healers, men and women throughout the society are all important in sustaining and transmitting TK. This implies that it is not enough to have a nominal pastoralist presence in policy-making; there must be a productive interaction between State institutions, research institutions and indigenous peoples’ institutions to achieve coherence and sustainability.

New technologies, particularly information communication technology (ICTs) offer us new means by which to involve holders of traditional knowledge and the conversion of local oral knowledge into information and data which are useful for decision making at different scales. More attention needs to be given to these methods of bridging between orality and information than can feed policy processes. Cybertracker is one example of an African ICT which can assist with linking TK and valuable data required for adaptation planning and monitoring.

Delegates noted the valuable work done by the World Meteorological Organisation and African States to make meteorological services available to rural communities. Delegates encouraged State Parties and agencies to continue developing the use of appropriate technologies, such as participatory mapping, radio, and mobile devices and applications, to provide a two-way flow of climate and weather information that connects national meteorological services with rural communities.

Governance and Rights
Climate change amplifies existing social, economic and environmental problems. Part of adaptation policy making requires addressing issues of rights, equity, fiscal integrity and good governance. Continued widespread problems of corruption, discrimination and marginalisation aggravate the risk of conflicts and vulnerability. Climate change places greater pressure on all Africans, those in State agencies and civil society, to ensure compliance with principles of human rights, good governance and inclusion in decision making.

Delegates noted that discrimination against pastoralists finds its roots in colonialism and European legal biases imported into Africa. This is most evident in the problems of land tenure and resource rights of mobile peoples in Africa today. Traditionally, hunters, herders, farmers and fishing peoples had complementary land and natural resource use and tenure systems. There was coherence between rights to resources and the responsibility of communities for stewardship and conservation. This coherence of rights and responsibilities has been damaged and has not been adequately addressed in the post-colonial context. The current marginalisation of indigenous pastoralists can only be resolved by reforms to land rights, land tenure and access to natural resources legislation and practices.

Land tenure and resources rights need to be reviewed in relation to ecosystem capacity and achieving harmonious and equitable coexistence of communities who have different land use requirements. This too is part of building resilience and adapting to climate change.

IPACC members noted the value of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a new-generation international standard for promoting indigenous peoples’ rights and institutional engagement between State agencies and indigenous peoples.

Delegates noted that nature conservation is essential for subsistence economies. At the same time, exclusion from some Protected Areas has broken up indigenous territories and resulted in increased vulnerability to extreme weather and unstable climate conditions. Delegates invite State Parties to take a fresh look at the role of Protected Areas in providing remedial territories during droughts and flooding to allow pastoralists to lighten their impact on ecosystems. Protected Areas are important for conservation but should be seen within a wider scope of landscape connectivity and conservation, which includes mobile pastoralism.

The governance issue also speaks to proper assessment of equitable costs and benefits. As noted in the UNEP Green Economy Initiative, the value of rural economies and ecosystems needs to be taken into consideration before other economic decisions are made. Gross Domestic Product cannot be the sole determinant for approving new extractive industries and infrastructure projects. Environmental degradation leads to long-term vulnerability and places greater costs on State treasuries by increasing poverty, urban migration, declining food security and health and the collapse of local economies.

Where mines and tourism exist in pastoralist territories, the revenues from these ventures need to be handled transparently with benefits being shared equitably. Extractive industries need to be actively contributing to ecosystem conservation and resilience, and the costs of climate adaptation.

The value of pastoralism needs to be clearly and correctly assessed, and included in national decision making on resource and land allocations. Pastoralism is a primary livelihood for over 20 million Africans. Climate change is likely to increase this reliance on livestock, and hence pastoralism needs to be considered a core economic system in national planning.

National Platforms
Delegates noted that climate change adaptation requires coordination at global, regional and national levels. It was further noted that the key level of implementation is the creation of national platforms for adaptation policy, planning and monitoring. There are currently three adaptation instruments adopted by Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) for least developed countries, the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and the Cancún Adaptation Framework (CAF). These instruments and frameworks all need to be realised through effective, well financed, and responsive national adaptation platforms.

Indigenous peoples assert their willingness to be directly involved in national adaptation platforms. The goal is to ensure that farmers, fishing communities, hunter-gatherers and pastoralists act in a harmonious and complementary manner by working together on national and local policy making, in concert with State agencies and technical bodies.

National platforms need to be inter-sectoral in character. Climate adaptation involves decisions about agriculture, lands, water, human development, housing, health, security, education, as well as including technical issues of atmospheric and biological sciences.

National Adaptation Platforms need to concentrate on two-way communication. Pastoralists need early warning of climate crises before they happen. This warning needs to be integrated into other sectoral responses, including assistance with veterinary services, the ability to slaughter surplus animals and sell the products before a full-scale crisis has emerged and animals are unable to be used commercially.

Delegates note that biodiversity and ecosystem resilience is the basis of indigenous economies and cultures. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services is fundamental to food security, health and sustainable living.

National Adaptation Platforms, and the related policy frameworks (e.g. the National Adaptation Programmes of Action / National Adaptation Plans) need to be equipped with participatory methods and tools to allow for effective participation by indigenous peoples and other rural communities. A centralised process which does not have its roots in real communities and real economic and environmental contexts risks missing the mark in responding to current and future needs. Africa needs to pilot innovations in participatory methodologies, new communication tools and citizen science, which in turn can be scaled up to national and regional levels of impact and effectiveness. The conference noted the valuable application of participatory mapping, citizen science, mobile phone technology, and Web 2.0 innovations in the domains of information management and communication.

National Adaptation Platforms will only be viable if they are properly funded and include commitments from the national budget. Adaptation is a lens that is relevant to budgeting and planning in all sectors. All Ministries should be contributing to the costs of adaptation planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. If Africa takes seriously its own investment in the National Adaptation Platforms, this will draw the attention and interest of international and regional donors and financial institutions that are looking to invest in robust country-driven initiatives.

Read more:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jinchuan Chinese Investors Face and Angry Crowd of Protesters on Palawan Island (Philippines)

PUERTO PRINCESA, 11 November, 2011 - On 10 November, indigenous peoples and farmers led by people’s organizations such as ALDAW (Ancestral Domain/Land Watch) gathered in Brooke’s Point city proper to protest against the mining plans of the Jinchuan Group Ltd. The company has signed a memorandum of agreement with MacroAsia Corporation for joint investments in Palawan, estimated to reach $1 billion. The agreement was signed during President Benigno Aquino's recent state visit to China.

“While we are struggling to protect our ancestral domain from mining plundering, Pres. “Noynoy” is signing mining contracts with China.  This is all very disappointing and frustrating... in consideration of his previous statements claiming that no more mining enterprises should be allowed to operate in Palawan without the consent of local communities” said a representative of ALDAW (Ancestral Land/Domain Watch).

The 88 million tonnes of nickel ore that MacroAsia Corporation (MAC) aims at extracting lye underground in the middle of the Palawan ancestral domain.  The company intends to mine up to 1 million metric tons nickel ore a year from the untouched and magnificent tropical forest of Brooke’s Point Municipality, one of the best biodiversity hot spots in the country. Most of the extracted minerals will be exported to China.

China is the world's top producer of NPI, a low grade ferro-nickel with high iron content, and relies on imported laterite ores for NPI production. In the first seven months of 2011, the Philippines was China's second-largest supplier of nickel ore  (after Indonesia), used for the production of stainless steel,
Speaking at the “Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel,” last September, Chamber of Mines president Philip Romualdez revealed that at least four mining contracts involving nickel mining projects in Palawan and Zambales were signed during President Aquino’s recent visit to China.

Through these agreements, the Philippine Government aim at bringing in $14 billion in investments within the next five years, sacrificing, in turn, the livelihood of thousands of farmers and indigenous peoples.

On late September, MacroAsia vice-president for Mining Operations Ramon Santos made a public statement saying that he was hoping that NCIP permit would be out by October. However, Indigenous Peoples in Palawan are challenging MacroAsia latest attempt to mislead government officials and the public so it can gain access to mineral resources on indigenous ancestral lands (see previous IC coverage)

In reality, October has been a rather challenging month for MacroAsia, due to the massive consultations carried out by farmers and indigenous communities of Brookes’ Point that have clearly shown how the company has no widespread local consensus, as it allegedly claims to have obtained.  Moreover, the local Palawan communities are now in the process of preparing an Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Protection Plan (ADSDPP) as required by the National Commission on Indigenous peoples (NCIP)   The plan will pose a challenge to endorsement of a certificate of precondition (CP) to MacroAsia by NCIP, as it will clearly demonstrate how the Palawan indigenous people, since time immemorial, has profitably and sustainably managed their forest.  As of now, this forest represents a source of livelihood and traditional sustenance for the tribes, as well as an indispensable source of potable water and irrigation for the lowland farmers.

While the ADSDPP process is moving forwards, indigenous communities, not only from Brooke’s Point but also from other municipalities, have been able to come up with a joint resolution dated 23 October and calling the Government for a serious implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA law), for the cancellation of mining companies such as MacroAsia and Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) which are encroaching on the indigenous ancestral land, and for the non-endorsement of the Certificate of Precondition (CP) by NCIP to such companies.  At the same time, on 31 October legal affidavits signed by genuine indigenous representatives of Brooke’s Point Municipality have been notarized and filed against both LEBACH and MacroAsia companies.

In addition to the partnership between Jinchuan and MacroAsia, also the Oriental Peninsula Resources Group, Inc. (OPRG) has been able to secure investments for three projects involving hydropower, coal, and nickel off-take with Yun Feng, a Chinese company that owns and controls automotive companies and parts suppliers in China. OPRG is an holding firm which has 94% equity in Citynickel, another mining company which is presently devastating tropical forest in Pulot (Municipality of Espanola) and polluting precious waterways such as the Punang, Malanap and Pulot rivers. The local people complain that the mining road is causing their rice-fields to overflow and be filled with a mixture of sand and silt coming from the mining road.

Citinickel, instead, claims to have signed a Memorandum of Agreement, on June 13 2008, in the City of Puerto Princesa City. Allegedly, such memorandum defines the specific rights and obligations of each party in the mining area, including those of the local indigenous Tagbanua and Palawan communities. The accord was an offshoot of the May 27 decision of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to cancel a compliance certificate it earlier gave to Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC) and re-issue a new one to Citinickel.

Indigenous advocate groups claim that the re-issuance should have been duly re-validated by the indigenous traditional representatives and by their communities’ members. The latter, instead, – until now – have little or no understanding of the company’s long-term plans.

In the Municipality of Brooke’s Point alone, almost 6,600 hectares of land are now being occupied by three major large-scale companies: Celestial Nickel Mining and Exploration Corporation (CNMEC) - currently being operated by Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC), MacroAsia Corporation and LEBACH.  All these companies have already engaged in exploration work and are waiting for the necessary permits to start full-scale operations.

What you can do

While local indigenous communities in Palawan are now being faced with huge interests and pressures coming from Chinese companies and investors, YOU can also support the local struggle by

Asking the Jinchuan Group ltd (JNMC) to stop their mining business in Palawan

President Wang Yongqian
Jinchuan Group LTD (JNMC)
98, Jinchuan Road
Jinchuan District
Jinchang,  737102

Fax (86-935)-8811612

JNMC US Office
Fax: 626-964-6336

Address your concerns to NCIP requesting the no-issuance of the Certificate or Preconditions to MacroAsia Corporation:
Telefax: (63 2) 373-97-65
Please also include in the Cc: and (Palawan Council for Sustainable Development - PCSD)

Kindly request President Benigno C. Aquino III (Malacañang Palace, Manila) to stop signing agreements with Chinese and foreign corporations whose operations will destroy precious environments, agricultural lands and indigenous ancestral domains

Also sign the no-2-mining-in-palawan petition launched by the Save Palawan Movement and the ALDAW Petition to stop the encroachment of mining corporations and oil palm plantations on Palawan ancestral land.

For more information watch ALDAW videos on Vimeo and  Youtube; and see ALDAW's Facebook page.

Contact the ALDAW INDIGENOUS NETWORK (Ancestral Land/Domain Watch) at:

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Mapping for Rights aims to provide easy access to accurate geographical information about the presence, land use and rights of indigenous peoples and other forest dependent communities in the Congo Basin. It is intended to enable forest communities themselves to demonstrate their presence in the forest; decision-makers and the private sector to take account of and recognise this presence; and to assist the international community in designing programmes to secure those rights and ensure that forest communities are equitable beneficiaries of future developments. The key features of the website include:

Interactive Maps. Built on a database of participatory maps (many of which the Rainforest Foundation itself has been involved in producing, this function enables forest communities to demonstrate their presence in the landscape, along with their customary uses and rights over the land. The maps enable all site users to see forest community occupation and forest usage in the context of other claims on the forest, such as logging activities and strictly protected areas. Multimedia content embedded in the maps allows for insights into the culture, livelihoods and concerns of the relevant communities;

Online Interactive Database. Authorized users can access an interactive online community map database. The database serves as a repository for participatory mapping work that has been carried out by various organisations in the region. It enables the maps shown in the Interactive Maps section to be scrutinised in more detail, and used to inform planning and policy processes, decision making and to promote effective collaboration.

Resource Portal.  Providing communities, NGOs, government agencies and others with the tools to facilitate participatory mapping.  Also search for related legal, policy, technical and other resources by theme or by country.