A third of global forests, crucial for curbing gas emissions, are primarily managed by indigenous peoples, families, smallholders and local communities, according to the United Nations.
“Showing them a picture-book crow, I intone ‘kaak
’ in Bengali, the State language. While others repeat in chorus, the tribal Santhali first-graders respond with a blank look. They know the crow only as ‘koyo’
. They’ll happily roll out glass marbles to count but ask them how many they counted, they remain silent because in their mother tongue, one is mit
, two is bariah
- very different sounding from the Bengali ek
Brazilians now have new reasons to yearn for and at the same time fear the parliamentary system of government. It facilitates quick solutions to political crises such as the one that is currently affecting the country, but it also further empowers reactionary forces and has led to backsliding on gains such as indigenous rights.
The world’s indigenous peoples still face huge challenges a decade after the adoption of an historic declaration on their rights, a group of United Nations experts and specialist bodies has warned. Speaking ahead of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August, the group says States must put words into action to end discrimination, exclusion and lack of protection illustrated by the worsening murder rate of human rights defenders.
The final declaration of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 stated that “Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens.” However, this rarely happens in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Over the centuries, Indigenous peoples who have in-depth and locally rooted knowledge of the natural world , have been increasingly dispossessed of their lands, territories and resources and have lost control over their own way of life.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, appointed a team of three international experts yesterday
to collect information and raise awareness about grave atrocities in the ongoing conflict in the remote Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Discussion around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a list of 17 goals
listed by the UN, was all the buzz in the conference rooms of UN headquarters this week.
Showing up in record numbers, civil society groups are urging greater inclusion and accountability in sustainable development processes at a UN high level meeting.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s formal apology to the country’s Mapuche Indians, for the “mistakes and atrocities” committed against them by the Chilean state, is seen by indigenous and social activists in the central region of Araucanía – the heartland of the Mapuche people - as falling short.
In Meghalaya, India’s northeastern biodiversity hotspot, all three major tribes are matrilineal. Children take the mother’s family name, while daughters inherit the family lands.
By 2025 –that’s in less than 8 years from today-- 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. Now it is feared that advancing drought and deserts, growing water scarcity and decreasing food security may provoke a huge ‘tsunami” of climate refugees and migrants.
Indigenous women in Asia are setting examples in their efforts for a more peaceful, fair and equal world. But discrimination, poverty and lack of recognition still hinder indigenous women from fully participating in developing their societies.
Now that president Donald Trump has announced the withdrawal of the world’s largest polluter in history—the United States, from the Paris Accord, perhaps one of the most specific warnings is what a United Nations independent expert on rights and the environment has just said: “We should be fully aware that we cannot enjoy our basic human rights without a healthy environment.”
The attack with guns and machetes that left at least 10 Gamela indigenous people wounded, in the northeastern state of Maranhão, highlighted the growing threats against the resurgence and survival of native people in Brazil.
Asia is home to the largest number of indigenous peoples on Earth, with an estimated 260 million of a total of 370 million original inhabitants worldwide. In spite of their huge number-equaling half of the combined population of Europe-- they are often victims of discrimination and denial of their rights.
Corruption has penetrated the Amazon rainforest like an illness that infects everything, said Ruben Siqueira, coordinator of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), during the VIII Panamazonic Social Forum (FOSPA), which brought together in the Peruvian Amazon jungle representatives of civil society from eight Amazon basin countries.
The cultures and very survival of indigenous peoples in Africa are seriously threatened. They are ignored, neglected and fall victims of land grabbing and land dispossession caused by extractive industries, agribusiness and other forms of business operations.
Indigenous women, while experiencing the first and worst effects of climate change globally, are often in the frontline in struggles to protect the environment.
Despite progress, many gaps remain in international indigenous rights protection, said representatives during an annual UN meeting.
It all happened on the very same day—4 April. That day, indigenous peoples were simultaneously characterised as fundamental allies in the world’s war on hunger and poverty, while being declared as collective victims of a “tsunami” of imprisonments in Australia. See what happened.