Indigenous Rights

Democracy, Civic Space and Fundamental Freedoms Are under Attack, but Civil Society Is Here to Stay

During the Forus network’s General Assembly which took place in Gaborone, Botswana, civil society organisations from across 65 countries highlighted the challenges facing them globally in an increasingly polarised and crisis-hit world.

Ocean Action on Global Agenda as Negotiations to Save Biodiversity Deepen

The oceans are as fascinating as they are mysterious. Home to the largest animals to ever live on Earth and billions of the tiniest, the top 100 meters of the open oceans host the majority of sea life, such as fish, turtles, and marine mammals. But there is another world far below the surface. In the belly of the ocean, there are seamounts—underwater mountains that rise 1,000 meters or more from the seafloor.

Biodiversity Masterplan: Negotiations on Crucial Science, Technology for Implementation Underway

The triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and waste are escalating. At the current pace, the world is on track to lose one quarter of all plant and animal species by 2030, with one species already dying out every 10 minutes. One million species face extinction. Human activity has already altered three-quarters of the land on Earth and two-thirds of the ocean.

Working to Keep Náhuat, the Language of the Pipil People, from Vanishing in El Salvador

A group of children participating in an immersion program in Náhuat, the language of the Pipil people and the only remaining pre-Hispanic language in El Salvador, are the last hope that the language will not die out.

Harnessing Science-Policy Collaboration: The Vital Role of IPBES Stakeholders in Achieving Global Nature Targets

In December 2022, the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) saw governments worldwide unite behind a set of ambitious targets aimed at addressing biodiversity loss and restoring natural ecosystems, through the Global Biodiversity Framework – known now as the Biodiversity Plan.

Indigenous Women Fight for Their Future, Their Land, Rights & Self-Determination

Throughout history, Indigenous Women have made remarkable contributions to forwarding the aspirations of their communities for self-determination. Amid the compounded burdens they face as Indigenous Peoples, as women and an oppressed class, let us recognize and celebrate the bravery of Indigenous Women as they strive and inspire with their courage, heritage, leadership and knowledge.

Illegal Artisanal Mining Threatens Amazon Jungle and Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

Artisanal mining, or "garimpo" as it is known in Brazil, has returned to the headlines as a factor in the deaths of Yanomami indigenous people, whose territory in the extreme north of Brazil suffers constant encroachment by miners, which has intensified in recent years.

The Ghost of Oil Haunts Mexico’s Lacandona Jungle

The Lacandona jungle in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas is home to 769 species of butterflies, 573 species of trees, 464 species of birds, 114 species of mammals, 119 species of amphibians and reptiles, and several abandoned oil wells.

Guatemala’s Chance for a New Beginning

Guatemala’s new president, Bernardo Arévalo, was expected to be sworn in on 14 January at 2pm –the 14th at 14:00, as people repeated in anticipation for months. It was a momentous event – but it wasn’t guaranteed to happen.

Centuries-Old Rituals Are Slowly Fading Away in Cambodia

“What on earth are you going to do in Tropeang Krohom?” The driver of the minivan turns his head and gives me a puzzled look. Few passengers want to be dropped off in a settlement between two provincial towns.

Peru’s Andean Peoples ‘Revive’ Water that the Climate Crisis Is Taking From Them

"The rich world has caused the climate change that is drying up our water sources, and here we are doing everything we can to recover them because otherwise we will die," said Juan Hilario Quispe, president of the small farming community of Muñapata, just over 50 kilometers from the Peruvian city of Cuzco.

Combating Corruption to Address the Triple Planetary Crises

The triple planetary crisis of climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and pollution is a threat to the well-being and survival of millions of people around the world. Corruption, in its many forms, worsens these multiple crises.

Global Civil Society Launches Manifesto for Ethical AI

We, a global coalition of over 50 civil society and human rights organizations from over 30 countries have co-developed the "Civil Society Manifesto for Ethical AI", a groundbreaking initiative aiming to steer AI policies towards safeguarding rights and deconolonising AI discourse. We question, and we are not the only ones: whose voices, ideas and values matter in AI ?

A Climate Scientist’s View of COP 28

This year’s UN Climate Change Conference is taking place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December. The so-called COP summits are organised every year and constitute a means for the global community to agree on ways to address the climate crisis, such as limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, supporting vulnerable communities to adapt to the effects of climate change, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Australia: Reconciliation Back to Square One?

Australia had the chance to take a step forward in redressing the exclusion of its Indigenous people – and chose not to. In a referendum held in October, voters rejected a constitutional amendment to establish an institution for Indigenous people to have a say on matters that concern them.

Brazil: A Step Forward for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Brazil’s Supreme Court has delivered a long-awaited ruling upholding Brazilian Indigenous peoples’ claims to their traditional land. It did so by rejecting the ‘Temporal Framework’ principle, which only allowed for the demarcation and titling of lands physically occupied by the Indigenous groups who claimed them by 5 October 1988, when the current constitution was adopted. This excluded the numerous Indigenous communities who’d been violently expelled from their ancestral lands before then, including under military dictatorship between 1964 and 1985.

New Zealand: Political Volatility under Cost-of-Living Crisis

It’s a rapid reversal for New Zealand’s Labour Party, in power for six years. At the last election in 2020 it won an outright majority, the first party to do so under the current voting system. But three years on, it’s finished a distant second in the election held on 14 October. The result speaks to a broader pattern seen amid economic strife in many countries – of intense political volatility and the rejection of incumbents.

In Brazil, Indigenous Leaders and Youth Activists Fight To Protect Amazon

Raffaello Nava, a youth and student activist, has fled his home at the peak of the global Coronavirus pandemic after receiving death threats from multinational companies that invaded his ancestral lands in the Amazon rainforest.

Mexico Turns to Military Entrepreneurs

Courage, sadness and impotence are expressed by Mayan indigenous activist Sara López when she talks about the Mayan Train (TM), the Mexican government's biggest infrastructure project, which will cross the town where she lives and many others in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexico’s Interoceanic Corridor Lacks Water

Due to insufficient pressure water does not make it up to Elliot Escobar's house in the Mexican municipality of Matías Romero, where he lives on the second floor, so he pipes it up with a hose from his sister's home, located on the first floor of the house shared by the two families.

Brazil Back on the Green Track

At a meeting with European and Latin American leaders in Brussels this July, Brazil’s President Lula da Silva reiterated the bold commitment he had made in his first international speech as president-elect, when he attended the COP27 climate summit in November 2022: bringing Amazon deforestation down to zero by 2030.

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