Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues Every Week - News

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of June 23 - 29, 2011: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Australia, United States, Peru


Bangladesh: Civic Groups Demand Constitutional Recognition Of Fundamental Rights Of Indigenous Peoples


Civic groups demanded specific provisions in the Constitution of Bangladesh enshrining civil, political, cultural and land rights of all indigenous peoples of the country. ‘It’s necessary for building peace,’ they said.


Speakers of the event said they were surprised to learn that Special Committee on constitution amendment has recommended indigenous peoples be dubbed as “tribals, national minorities, small ethnic groups and communities” whereas a law enacted last year had replaced “tribal” with their preferred description as “indigenous” population.


They were speaking at the launching of a book containing national and international laws on indigenous peoples hosted by Kapaeeng Foundation and Oxfam-GB at the National Planning Academy on 27 June 2011.


Chakma circle chief Devashish Roy, assistant attorney general Pratikar Chakma and lawyer Shirin Lira, jointly edited the book, ‘Compendium on National and International Laws and Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh.’ Read more about demands for constitutional recognition of indigenous people in Bangladesh here....


Indonesia: Statement Of Concern On REDD+ In Central Kalimantan, Indonesia From Indigenous Peoples' Alliance


Indigenous Peoples Alliance of Archipelago – Central Kalimantan Chapter


We, the members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago -Central Kalimantan Chapter (AMAN Central Kalimantan) conducted on June 16-17, 2011 our Strategic Meeting to address concerns and problems related to REDD+ in the Central Kalimantan’s Provincial Spatial Plan. The Meeting was attended by members of the Local and Regional Chapters of AMAN Central Kalimantan and Indigenous Leaders from eleven districts.


We, Indigenous Peoples of Central Kalimantan affirm that Indigenous Peoples have the right over land, territories and customary forest. Indigenous Peoples have traditional knowledge and innovations in managing and safeguarding our forest and have thereby sustained forest resources over the centuries. On the other hand, development projects such as oil palm plantations, industrial plantations, mining and the peat land mega project are the main drivers of deforestation in Central Kalimantan.


As the Pilot Province for REDD+, Central Kalimantan has been on the global spotlight. It has become the target of REDD+ investments. Various initiatives have been developed such as the Kalimantan Forest and Climate Partnership (KFCP) between the Government of Indonesia and the Australian Government; and the Letter of Intent (LoI) between Indonesia and Norway that is by far the biggest REDD+ investment in Indonesia. In addition, there have been many other initiatives involving international organizations such as The Clinton Foundation, WWF, FFI, BOS, CARE International and Wetland etc. Read more about REDD+ in Central Kalimantan and indigenous peoples concerns here....


Australia: Kimberley Gas Plant Threatens Aboriginal Culture


Redfern Community Centre, Hugo Street, Redfern (near Redfern Station), Sydney NSW Saturday, July 9, 9.30am-noon


Aboriginal people are still deeply divided over the development of a $30 billion liquefied natural gas processing plant at James Price Point on the pristine Kimberley coast despite a vote for the proposal.


Kimberley traditional owner Neil McKenzie, who is challenging the Western Australian Government’s threat of compulsory acquisition in the WA Supreme Court and consequently the validity of the traditional owner vote to accept the development, will discuss the case and the gas hub’s threat to Aboriginal culture in Sydney’s indigenous centre, Redfern, on Saturday, July 9.


On May 5 this year, 60 per cent of traditional owners voted in favour of the Kimberley Land Council’s (KLC) $1.5 billion negotiated terms with Woodside Energy Ltd to build the LNG plant. But the vote was taken under the threat of compulsory acquisition of the land, or as former KLC boss Wayne Bergmann said, like having ‘a gun to our head’. The legitimacy of the compulsory acquisition and therefore the vote is now being questioned in the WA Supreme Court in an action taken by McKenzie and Phillip Roe, both traditional owners of James Price Point. Read more about the gas plant in the Kimberley and the controversy over James Price Point here....


United States: Snowbowl Begins Clear-Cuts On Holy San Francisco Peaks


Owners of Arizona Snowbowl ski area have started clear-cutting rare alpine forest for new ski runs on the Holy San Francisco Peaks.


According to an Environmental Impact Statement more than 74 acres are slated to be cut. Owners and operators of Arizona Snowbowl began partial development of a 14.8 mile pipeline last month.


If completed, the pipeline will transport up to 180 million gallons of treated sewage effluent from the City of Flagstaff to the ski area for snowmaking.


The treated sewage has been proven to contain contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and hormones. Currently this matter is subject of a lawsuit asserting that the Forest Service, who manages the Peaks as public lands, did not test or seriously consider impacts if humans ingest the fake snow. Snowbowl started development in May even though the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to make a decision on the current case. Read more about Snowbowl, the Holy San Francisco Peaks, and protests here....


Peru: Five Indigenous People Dead And More Than 50 Injured In Protests Against Mining Concessions


As a human rights activist I am on the imperative need to report and request the solidarity to the international community, organizations of human rights, indigenous organizations in the world, in particular to the Professor James Anaya Rapporteur Special of the United Nations on Indigenous Peoples to send a Special Commission to Puno Peru to verify the massacre of members of indigenous Aymara and Quechua people. Where police killed 5 Indians with weapons of war, missing much and most and 50 injured by bullet wounds in the hospital in Juliaca and a human sea of wounded to heal their injuries with its own methods.


The Aymara people were on indefinite strike for more than 40 days, the Quechua people had entered into indefinite strike by more than one week in support to the Aymara requesting the cancellation of the mining and oil concessions granted to transnational corporations without prior consultation by the Peruvian government. And worse yet without prior knowledge by the true owners of land who have lived and live for generations, as is, set up by the international law and in particular of the ILO Convention 169 and the the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples.


Yesterday (Friday, 24 June) to not be heard by the genocidal Government of Alan Garcia the strikers tried to peacefully take the Manco Capac international airport, Garcia ordered to shoot the helpless Quechua of the province of Azangaro, who were sleeping in the carretaras, the bridges like the Aymara in order to defend their land and organic farming. Read more about the protests against mining by Aymara and Quechua people here....


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

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