Indigenous Rights

Preserving World’s Biodiversity: Negotiations Convene at FAO Headquarters

“The world out there is watching and waiting for results,” Elizabeth Maruma Mrema warns while talking to IPS regarding the preservation of biodiversity of our planet.

Lithium and Clean Energy in Argentina: Development or Mirage?

The intense white brightness of the salt flats interrupts the arid monotony of the Puna in northwest Argentina, resembling postcards from the moon. Beneath its surface are concealed the world's largest reserves of lithium, the key mineral in the transition to clean energy, the mining of which has triggered controversy.

Social Summit Demands Stronger Commitments in Climate Talks

As the COP25 deliberations enter the decisive final week, representatives of environmental and social organisations gathered in a parallel summit are pressing the governments to adopt stronger commitments in the face of a worsening climate emergency.

Indigenous Knowledge, a Lesson for a Sustainable Food Future

Local knowledge systems rooted in traditional practices and culture passed down generations provide sustainable solutions to food and nutritional insecurity on the back of climate change, a conference heard this week.

Evo Morales: Hero or Villain?

To be president in a country like Bolivia might be like a precarious act performed by a tightrope-dancer between “the Devil and the deep blue sea”. After 23 years as Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales finally lost his foothold and ended up as political refugee in Mexico, adding his name to a long list of previous revolutionary exiles, like Augusto Sandino, Fidel Castro, and most prominently – Leon Trotsky. The last one was murdered, though the others came back, something Evo Morales has promised to do:

Climate Change and Loss of Species: Our Greatest Challenges

Mottled and reddish, the Lake Oku puddle frog has made its tragic debut on the Red List, a rapidly expanding roll call of threatened species. It was once abundant in the Kilum-Ijim rainforest of Cameroon but has not been seen since 2010 and is now listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.

Rock Glaciers Supply Water to Highlands Communities in Argentina

In Argentina's Puna region, at 4,000 metres above sea level, the color green is rare in the arid landscape, which is dominated by different shades of brown and yellow. In this inhospitable environment, daily life has improved thanks to a system of piping water downhill from rock glaciers to local communities.

Rural Poverty Is Still a Scar on the Soul of Colombia, but a New Program Supporting Agri-Entrepreneurship Can Help Heal the Wounds

Rural poverty and inequality continue inflicting large swaths of population in Colombia, especially in rural areas. This situation, endemic since at least the beginning of the twentieth century, was at the root of the 50-year long conflict that shattered the country, leaving 220,000 deaths and 5.7 million displaced persons, and devastating a significant part of the rural areas, where government services and infrastructure vanished.

Justin Trudeau´s Blackface

Politics is a dodgy game, maybe even more so if you represent political views based on a moral approach. When the charismatic Justin Trudeau, son of a cosmopolitan liberal who served as Canada´s Prime Minister for 16 years, in 2015 was elected Prime Minister it was within a global political climate different from what it is today. Barack Obama was in the White House, Angela Merkel served her third period as German Chancellor, and the UK Government had not yet announced its country's withdrawal from the EU. Nevertheless, Russia had three months before Trudeau´s election annexed Crimea, while Viktor Orbán´s Hungarian government the month before initiated the construction of a 4 metres high barrier along its nation´s eastern and southern borders to keep immigrants out.

Kashmir: How Modi’s Aggressive ‘Hindutva’ Project has Brought India and Pakistan to the Brink – Again

August is immensely important in the history of the Asian subcontinent, marking the month that India and Pakistan gained independence from the British in 1947. Now, in 2019, it has once again proved momentous, when, ten days before India’s Independence day celebrations, prime minister Narendra Modi’s government revoked the autonomy of Indian-administered Kashmir – a status provided for under the Indian Constitution.

Revitalizing Indigenous Languages Is Critical

Being fluent in a world language is a desirable skill in modern day society. However, some languages are suffering and in danger of extinction -- namely those of the indigenous peoples.

How India’s Indigenous Female Forest Dwellers Feel about Owning Their Own Land

Kumaribai Jamkatan, 51, has been fighting for women’s land rights since 1987. Though the constitution of India grants equal rights to men and women, women first started to stake their claim for formal ownership of land only after 2005–the year the government accorded legal rights to daughters to be co-owners of family-owned land.

In the Midst of Conflict, India’s Indigenous Female Forest Dwellers Own their Land

Jam Bai, an Indigenous farmer from Korchi village in western India, is a woman in hurry. After two months of waiting, the rains have finally come and the rice saplings for her paddy fields must be sown this week while the land is still soft.

India’s Indigenous Women Assert their Land Rights

Korchi a village of 3,256 people, most of whom are small and marginal farmers belonging to Gondi and Kawar indigenous communities, lies about 750 kilometres east of Mumbai, India. Here, women like Jam Bai, a 53-year-old indigenous farmer, have been leading a ground movement for years to own land.

Your Life or Your Freedom? The Ultimate Price to Defend the Environment

For the family of indigenous Guatemalan activist Jorge Juc, the announcement last week by US President Donald Trump of an agreement declaring Guatemala a “safe third country” could not be more bitterly ironic.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2019

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They live in all geographic regions and represent 5000 different cultures. These people are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to others yet are being forced to give up their ways of life.

Indigenous Communities Head Towards Energy Self-Sufficiency in Guatemala

Because the government has never provided them with electricity, indigenous communities in the mountains of northwest Guatemala had no choice but to generate their own energy.

Indigenous Rights Approach a Solution to Climate Change Crisis

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) was held in Bonn, Germany to rally behind a new approach to achieving a future that is more inclusive and sustainable than the present – through the establishment of secure and proper rights for all.

UN Chief’s Reprehensible Bankrolling of Violence in Burundi

Last week the Washington Post published a scathing critique by the executive director of Human Rights Watch, titled “Why the U.N. Chief’s Silence on Human Rights is Deeply Troubling.” Kenneth Roth argued that Secretary-General António Guterres “is becoming defined by his silence on human rights—even as serious rights abuses proliferate.”

Land Conservation: A Risky Business

In light of land degradation and climate change, the protection of the environment is crucial—but the protection of the very people working tirelessly and with much risk to preserve nature should be just as important.

Against All Odds, Indigenous Villages Generate Their Own Energy in Guatemala

In the stifling heat, Diego Matom takes the bread trays out of the oven and carefully places them on wooden shelves, happy that his business has prospered since his village in northwest Guatemala began to generate its own electricity.

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