Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues Every Week - News

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of June 16 - 22, 2011: Canada, Peru, Nigeria, Guatemala, Malaysia


Canada: Province Permanently Designates Largest Area Of Protected Land In More Than A Decade


The Manitoba government has legally designated 807,650 hectares of boreal forest and wetlands on the east side of Lake Winnipeg as protected traditional territory, Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie announced today. This new designation will increase Manitoba's protected areas network to over 6.5 million hectares or 10 per cent.


"We have committed to protecting this area for future generations and bringing into law the management plan the Poplar River First Nation has developed," said Blaikie. "We will continue to work with them to implement the plan for the Asatiwisipe Aki area and look forward to including it as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site bid."


The Poplar River First Nation is located approximately 400 kilometres north of Winnipeg on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. It is the first community in Manitoba to proceed with land-use planning and submit a management plan for approval under the East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act, Blaikie said. Read more about the designation of boreal forests in Manitoba as protected traditional territory here....


Peru: Mega-Dam In Peruvian Amazon Cancelled


Decision by Peruvian government a blow to Brazil’s regional energy plans


The Peruvian government announced yesterday that the massive Inambari Dam, planned on a major Amazonian tributary, had been cancelled after years of strong community opposition. For the past 36 days, close to 2,000 people in the Puno area had been on strike in an effort to convince the government to cancel mining concessions and the dam project. They blocked access roads to the region and held mass protests.


To appease the strikers, the government established a high-level commission to review the Inambari Dam. After a tense meeting with local communities on June 13, Commission Chair and Vice-Minister of Energy Luis Gonzales Talledo definitively cancelled the project, stating that the Brazilian EGASUR consortium’s rights to develop the project had been revoked.


"Although this resolution does not prevent the construction of all dams in the Inambari Basin, it is very important because it clearly cancels EGASUR’s participation. The resolution states that all future proposed projects must be subjected to prior consultation with local communities according to ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, which is an important precedent," said Aldo Santos, from local NGO SER (Rural Educational Services). Read more about the cancellation of the Inambari Dam in Peru here....


Nigeria: We'll Resist Ogoni Land Grabbing - MOSOP


The Ogoni people of Rivers State, have vowed that they will resist by all available legal means any large scale aquisition of their for whatever project even for the relocation of a military facility.


At their Crisis Management meeting held in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on the platform of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), on Thursday night, they reiterated their opposition to ''land grabbing'' in their area whether intended for relocation of a military barracks, agricultural estate or for whatever purpose.


MOSOP Information Officer, Mr. Bari-ara Kpalap, told AkanimoReports that the Ogoni people have frowned seriously at the deployment of scores of fiercesome and fully armed soldiers to the proposed site of the land to be acquired.


According to the Ogoni group, ''these armed military men molest and intimidate local farmers while forcefully surveying the farmlands. The heavy presence of men of the Nigerian army supervising and shielding the survey work provides clearest evidence yet that the forceful acquisition of the land from local communities is in preparation for the relocation of a military base from Port Harcourt to Ogoni. Read more about the Ogoni people and resistance to land grabbing in Nigeria here....


Guatemala: First Arrest For Genocide In Guatemala


Today, June 17th, General Héctor Mario López Fuentes was captured in Guatemala City, twenty-nine years after having initiated the execution of Plan Victoria 82, developed by the Army Chief of Staff and Efraín Ríos Montt’s de facto government. He is accused of having perpetrated genocide against the Maya Ixil people in the years 1982-83.


The victims and survivors of genocide have knocked on the doors of justice for more than ten years. Today the justice system has the opportunity to prosecute genocide, a crime which is an affront to the dignity of all humanity. These events fill us with hope and motivate us to continue the fight against forgetting. Read more about the arrest for genocide in Guatemala of General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes here....


Malaysia: Cargill Supplier Connected To Illegal Logging; Allegations Of Slave Labor


One week after Cargill announced it will begin providing US markets with palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has confirmed that Malaysian palm oil company Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) supplies palm oil to Cargill. KLK was recently documented illegally logging natural rainforests on carbon rich peatlands on May 19th, violating the Indonesian government’s new moratorium on logging on the very first day it was meant to take effect.


RAN has confirmed that KLK is a supplier to Cargill based on customs data that shows that Cargill imported at least 14 shipments of palm oil - totaling at least 10,000 tons - from Kepong Edible Oils (a fully owned subsidiary of KLK) between October 2008 and March 2011.


Additionally, RAN has video recorded interviews, from November of 2010, with two villagers from Northern Sumatra who recount nearly identical stories of being lured by representatives of a KLK subsidiary to work in the company’s palm plantations, only to be forced into slave labor conditions for months until they could escape without being paid. Read more about illegal logging in Malaysia's forests and allegations of slave labor here....


Last Weeks Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues can be found here.

Tags: Canada  Peru  Nigeria  Guatemala  Malaysia  

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