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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Discover the Truth about Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous World in 2017

10th Anniversary UNDRIP Special Edition eBook

The International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) has published Indigenous World 2017 which provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide and a comprehensive overview of the main global trends and developments affecting indigenous peoples during 2016.
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The Indigenous World 2017 comes in a special edition marking the ten years anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The public launch took place April 25, 2017 during the 16th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.

Symbolically, it was launched on the same day, as the UN General Assembly marked the ten years anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Highlights of Indigenous World 2017

Despite some encouraging national achievements, the country reports from around the world in this year’s edition continue to illustrate the great pressures facing indigenous communities at the local level.

If national policies are even available they are often not properly implemented, while in some countries national policies are in direct contradiction with international human rights obligations, including the UNDRIP and ILO Convention No. 169.

The country reports reiterate that the main challenges faced by indigenous peoples continue to be related to the recognition and implementation of their collective rights to lands, territories and resources, their access to justice, lack of consultation and consent, and the gross violations of their fundamental human rights.

The issue of extractive industries is once again a recurrent and overarching theme in the Indigenous World. Numerous examples show that both states and industries are repeatedly ignoring the key principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent.

Mega infrastructure projects, investments in extractive industries and large-scale agriculture are increasingly posing a threat to the everyday life of indigenous peoples and their ability to maintain their land, livelihood and culture.

The year 2016 also witnessed an alarming rate of violence and discrimination of indigenous peoples and human rights defenders around the world.

On a global level, the implementation of the commitments adopted by UN member states at the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) continued at a slow but steady pace.

2016 also marked the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and, here, indigenous peoples continued their engagement. Within the area of climate change, the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, entered into force in November 2016, which was seen as a great success with regard to states’ commitments to combating climate change.

About the Book: The Indigenous World 2017 contains 59 detailed country reports and 12 articles on defining global processes in a total of 651 pages.

International Authorities

Over 70 distinguished experts, indigenous activists and scholars have contributed to the Indigenous World 2017. Among the contributors are Claire Charters, Patricia Borraz, Albert Barume, Stefan Disko, Joan Carling, Robert Hitchcock, Lola Garcia-Alix and many more.

All the contributors are identified by IWGIA on the basis of our knowledge and network. The contributors offer their expertise on a voluntary basis, which means that not all countries or all aspects of importance to indigenous peoples are included in the book.

Still, any omissions of specific country reports should not be interpreted as “no news is good news”. In fact, sometimes, it is the precarious human rights situation that makes it difficult to obtain articles from specific countries.

The book is published with support from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Danida.

USE OF THE BOOK: It is IWGIA’s hope that indigenous peoples themselves and their organizations will find the Indigenous World 2017 useful in their advocacy work of improving indigenous peoples’ human rights situation. They may also, in this regard, find it inspiring for their work to read about the experiences of indigenous peoples in other countries and parts of the world.

It is also IWGIA’s wish and hope that the Indigenous World will be useful to a wider audience interested in indigenous issues and that it can be used as a reference book and a basis for obtaining further information on the situation of indigenous peoples worldwide.

The Indigenous World 2017 is, in that sense, an essential source of information and an indispensable tool or those who need to be informed about the most recent issues that impact on indigenous peoples worldwide. Article reformatted from IWGIA Website book reference. 

Article: States and industries still ignore the rights of indigenous peoples

Despite significant progress on global and regional level, indigenous peoples are left behind when it comes to recognition and protection of their right to land, territories and natural resources. This is the main conclusion of IWGIA’s 30th edition of the annual global report on indigenous peoples.

For ten years, indigenous peoples like the Maasai, Adivasi, Inuit and Quechua peoples have had their own UN declaration that commits States to promote, respect and protect indigenous peoples’ rights.

Still, the dignity and survival of the world’s 370 million indigenous people is under threat, as the global race for land and natural resources is increasing.

The Indigenous World 2017 provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide and a comprehensive overview of the main global trends and developments affecting indigenous peoples during 2016.

Focus on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous World 2017 comes in a special edition marking the ten years anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The public launch took place April 25 2017 during the 16th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. Symbolically it was launched on the same day, as the UN General Assembly marked the ten years anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Lola Garcia-Alix, co-director of IWGIA, says, “The adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a landmark. Still, action on the ground is really needed. Good intentions are simply not enough, as indigenous peoples lose lands and livelihoods every day.”

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides a legal framework and an instrument for fulfilling the rights relating to indigenous peoples, including recognition of their right to self-determination, collective land rights, self-determined development, culture and more.

During its first ten years of existence, the Declaration has helped to shape laws, policies and programmes worldwide and continues to do so.

Consultations ignored in the global run for land and raw materials

Still, the realisation of the Declaration falls short in many parts of the world. Numerous examples show that both states and indus­tries are repeatedly ignoring the Declaration’s key principle of free, prior and informed consent. The principle is to protect indigenous peoples by including them in processes that affect their lands and lives.

Kathrin Wessendorf, co-director and coordinator of IWGIA’s climate programme says, “In the global race for acquiring land for industries and large-scale infrastructure projects, indigenous peoples and their rights are too often neglected. International companies and States should be concerned with this development and take responsibility. We call for joint action to realise the Declaration and ensure the dignity and survival of indigenous peoples.”

Development projects on indigenous lands continue to take place without consulting the people living on and from the affected land. And increasingly, energy projects and tourism threaten indigenous peoples to the same degree as construction of hy­droelectric dams, fossil fuel development, logging and agro-plantations do.

Shrinking space for indigenous activists

The year 2016 witnessed an alarming rate of violence and discrimination of in­digenous peoples and human rights defenders around the world.

Conflicts over land often lead to forced eviction and displacement of indigenous peoples. When defending their rights to land and territory, indigenous peoples risk being arrested, harassed, threatened and even murdered.

Lola Garcia-Alix says, “We condemn the use of threats, arrests and violence against indigenous peoples. Our hope is that by applying the principle of free, prior and informed consent and by generally respecting indigenous peoples’ rights, violent conflicts over land and resources will decrease in the future.”

For any further questions, please contact IWGIA's Press and Communications team: press@iwgia.org or +45 30749470.

Content re-published from IWGIA WebSite for Globcal International Network followers.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Indigenous Unity in Diversity is Now a Reality

Indigenous Views Collated Worldwide 'For First Time'

By Lisa Nikalau at SciDev.Net

[MADRID] Indigenous people will soon be able to put their opinions across to international policymakers thanks to an initiative which is the first to collate their views worldwide, its developers say.

The initiative, known as the Indigenous Navigator, will be officially launched at the UN General Assembly in September.

It is the largest-ever attempt to fill the data gap in development specific to indigenous people, who account for some 370 million worldwide and are overrepresented amongst the poor, illiterate and unemployed, according to the project’s coordinator Cæcilie Mikkelsen.

“The Indigenous Navigator is a great example of how marginalised and excluded groups, who are invisible in official statistics, can collect data themselves.” -Birgitte Feiring

“For the first time, we have global indicators for monitoring the rights of indigenous peoples,” says Mikkelsen, coordinator for sustainable human development at the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA). “It is an awareness raising, a monitoring and an advocacy tool.”

By providing a data collection method that is free, open source and available online, the initiative enables authorized contributors to answer user-friendly questionnaires at either a national or community level. Based on the responses, the tool then creates an index to illustrate the status of indigenous peoples’ rights in selected countries or communities. 
Connect to Data with Indigenous Navigator

In 2007, countries adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which set out a universal framework of minimum standards for indigenous people’s survival, dignity and well-being. Seven years later, UN member states and indigenous leaders took part in the first-ever World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

But one of the most significant global commitments to addressing indigenous issues was the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The ambitious goals refer to indigenous peoples six times, focusing on the systematic abuse of their rights, discrimination and other drivers that have left indigenous people behind in all measurements of human development.

A New Global Data Set

“The Indigenous Navigator is a great example of how marginalised and excluded groups, who are invisible in official statistics, can collect data themselves,” explains Birgitte Feiring, chief adviser of human rights and development at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR).

“The active assessment of their situation will [not only] strengthen and empower communities but also give them a powerful tool to raise their issues and concerns with governments, U.N. bodies and others,” she added.

Because the tool is web-based, however, some indigenous experts are concerned that the sample of indigenous leaders providing data will not be representative of the global community.

“Many indigenous people’s advocates — the organisations that represent them, their community leaders — many of them are online,” says Amnesty International’s indigenous rights advisor Chris Chapman. “There is a big bias among those who are online, particularly towards North America and Australia and New Zealand, so I think they’re going to have to somehow account for that.”

However, Chapman added that as a tool, the Indigenous Navigator allows people to take ownership of their needs, their liberties, what is said about them and who says it — rights which are recognised in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Indigenous Navigator is a collaborative initiative developed and managed by IWGIA, DIHR, the International Labor Organization, the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Philippines-based NGO Tebtebba and the Forest Peoples Programme. The initiative is also backed by the European Union.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Indigenous Forest Guardians: Good or Bad?

Empowering Indigenous Peoples with their Own Lands

Studies show Indigenous people are the best custodians of the planet's threatened forests.

By Paola Totaro
 
WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Granting formal land rights to indigenous people living in the world's tropical forests is among the most effective, but underused, ways to stop illegal deforestation that fuels violence, poverty and global warming, according to new research.

Local communities are best equipped to safeguard valuable forests, and those with strong land rights are the most effective, said a raft of studies presented this week at the World Bank's annual Land and Poverty Conference.

A representative from the Maya Leaders Alliance, Belize, addresses the crowd on behalf
of award winners at the Equator Prize ceremony in Paris. Image: Eco-Business
Deforestation is known to be detrimental to the earth's climate. Clearing woodlands for agriculture and grazing, and fires that often follow, is responsible for about one-tenth of carbon emissions that contribute to a dangerous rise in global temperatures, researchers say.

Shrinking forests can cause poverty and conflicts as well, as local residents are forced to compete for fewer resources.

A six-nation study for the World Bank's Program on Forests found deforestation rates are significantly lower where communities have legal rights to the forests and government support for management and enforcement, compared with areas elsewhere.

"Critical links" exist among land security, local economic development, biodiversity conservation and reduced carbon emissions, it said.

Research from Indonesia showed conflict over land was minimized and investment was encouraged when local communities were involved in designing transportation corridors around proposed mining projects.
Another study from Indonesia showed granting long-term rights over mangrove swamps to indigenous people has better protected the critical coastal ecosystems than in areas where the endangered buffers between land and sea are not locally managed.

Less than a fifth of the world's population has formal land rights, or tenure.

"Granting communal land rights to indigenous inhabitants of tropical forests is among the most underused and effective solutions to reducing deforestation that fuels climate change," said Peter Veit, director of the Washington-based World Resources Institute's land rights initiative.

"Securing rights also has implications for reducing poverty and conflict," he said.

More than 1,500 land rights specialists converged on the U.S capital this week to share their findings.
The use of giant swathes of information such as advanced satellite imagery can identify patterns such as water use in land rights and land management, said Andrew Steer, head of the WRI and a former World Bank Special Envoy for Climate Change.

"We can show water risk, make future projections of population, use crowd sourcing and cloud computing in a way that is transforming how water is used by private companies and indigenous communities," he said.
Many papers highlighted challenges posed to developing nations by big mining and agricultural industries that are using technology to gain access to remote regions.

Nevertheless, researchers said indigenous peoples and campaigners working with them are harnessing technology as well to expose illegal deforestation or land use and seek remedies and justice.

The research is significant to help back up indigenous communities' claims that they are the best custodians of global forests.

 Map illustrating that tropical regions contain 20% of the world's carbon. More
science reveals that these areas must remain natural for the survival of the planet.

Some critics have claimed remote tropical forests looked after by indigenous groups are protected due to a lack of development pressure rather than good management techniques.

An estimated 15 percent of the world's forest cover remains untouched.

Brazil, once a leader in slowing deforestation, has recently been accused of rolling back gains made by providing land rights to rural people in the face of recession and a political crisis.

The World Bank estimates that forest ecosystems cover a fifth of the land in Latin America, representing half of the world's tropical forests.
 

Reporting by Paola Totaro, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org/


Commentary: Indigenous peoples are in great danger globally as their territorial rights are being challenged by corporations and states that want to claim natural resources, often indigenous people are in the way and now for the first time in history there is a chance to perpetually preserve global biodiversity and what remains of our natural world with these spectacular people. Their freedom is our freedom, but theirs is at greater risk while at great disadvantage without empowerment to defend themselves and their rights as human beings.

Read more about forest carbon and indigenous peoples in Toward a Common Baseline of Carbon Storage on Collective Lands and Tropical Forest Carbon in Indigenous Territories; A Global Analysis.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Global Goals serve as a Doorway to the Future

Making the Universal Agenda Truly Universal

Director of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund

NEW YORK, Nov 17 2016 (IPS) - One of the key features of the 2030 Agenda which the United Nations and member states identified in the lead up to the SDG agreement was the principle of universality.

After managing to get the pivotal agreement on the global framework for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon last year, it is now critical to continue this momentum and understand the opportunities and challenges it creates for the private sector as partners in sustainable development efforts.

Building on our interest to tip the scales and generate greater private sector engagement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG Fund) in collaboration with its Private Sector Advisory Group and the Global Compact examined these questions through a new report, Universality and the SDGs: A Business Perspective. The report, launched last week highlights varied perspectives from both large and small companies working to understand the commonality of the new development agenda.

Universality in this context is defined by the UN as “applicable to all countries, while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development that respect national policies and principles.” Thus the notion of Universality also envisions that everyone has a role to play in development and poverty alleviation efforts framing the development agenda.

The business community has, and continues to be deemed an important partner for us, serving as a critical economic engine and multiplier to catalyze economic and social development programs in our 23 joint programs around the world. The task at hand is to now reinforce this commitment and ensure that companies of all sizes and sectors are properly aware of the new SDGs.

To this end, the outcomes of the report were based on a year-long series of workshops and dialogues and reflected input from over 100 firms across a variety of regions and industry sectors. These findings stemming from countless interviews and in-depth questions were not unexpected and mainly in-line with our experience at the SDG Fund. We found that companies were keen to address the new set of goals which they viewed as critical to their core business activities, but many firms still struggled to fully understand the depth of the goals.

The report also mirrored some of our unique experience working with the private sector. For example, while many firms are already working in areas linked to the SDGs, this work is not always associated with the same “UN” or development language. In fact, many companies articulate the “global goals” using other mechanisms, including using other metrics or reporting based on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) indicators or other industry standards.

The new report offers some other useful findings. First, companies both small and large are increasingly aware of the concept of the SDGs, but many firms did not fully grasp the intricacies of the SDGs in context of their work or internal operations.

In addition, although many companies find a clear and added value to framing sustainability initiatives through the SDGs which provide a unified set of globally accepted principles–many companies are still accustomed to working within the confines of their philanthropic and CSR programs.

Despite a strong willingness to embrace the SDGs, many companies are exploring how to best integrate the SDGs into their work. But perhaps the most compelling case for the SDG Fund’s continued efforts to engage companies in a “co-design, co-invest and co-implement policy” is that the private sector remains eager to work on global challenges.

Companies continue to express their desire to be brought into the process to build innovative and robust multi-stakeholder partnerships at the local level and very often with UN partners.

Undoubtedly, with the one-year anniversary of the 2030 agenda approaching in January, this new report reminds us that the UN can and should play a more active role in educating and informing companies on the “universal” dimensions of the SDGs.

It is also important to continue to translate the new agenda into language and simplified reporting metrics that are palatable for businesses of all sizes – all of which means greater education on how companies can integrate the SDGs in their value chains, disseminate accessible resources and tools to promote learning, and support implementation and alignment across sectors.

In the end, the universality principle embedded in the SDGs provides a clear invitation for action and alignment to advance the new development agenda.

We hope to continue to raise public awareness and foster the much needed dialogue and advocacy required to encourage business to support the SDGs. In addition, our report highlights additional information on the ongoing work of the SDG Fund, including Private Sector Advisory Group case studies that continue to build the case for greater engagement in development, especially across sectors and with welcome actors like the private sector.

Source: -IPSNews

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Global Identity Principles (ID4D)

15 global organizations issue new principles for inclusive, secure identification in the developing world



In its ongoing effort to fight poverty, the World Bank has joined with a number of international partners, issuing a list of 10 key principles to ensure proper identification for citizens in the developing world, particularly with the aid of modern technology.

Entitled Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development: Towards a Digital Age, the new guidelines have been endorsed by a range of organizations from varying industries, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and Mastercard.

The newly announced principles are part of a global effort to enable more inclusive and robust identification systems. The United Nations have targeted to provide legal identity for all, including birth registration, by 2030, and the guidelines look to help organizations do their part to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal.

“Given the size and complexity of the global identification gap, no single country, international organization, NGO, or private sector partner can surmount this challenge by working alone — coordination is needed at global, regional and national levels,” Vyjayanti Desai, ID4D program manager at World Bank Group, told One World Identity. “This effort is one step towards shaping a shared vision to advance progress globally.”


The list of 10 principles are broken in to three larger categories:
  • Inclusion, with the goal of universal coverage and accessibility
  • Design, aiming for robust, secure, responsive and sustainable methods of identity
  • Governance, building trust by protecting privacy and user rights
The principles were drawn up with the belief that every person has the right to participate fully in their society and economy. But full participation can be difficult without any verifiable proof of identity.
“No one should face the indignity of exclusion, nor be denied the opportunity to realize their full potential, exercise their rights, or share in progress,” the guidelines state. “No one should be left behind.”

Full details can be found in the full report, but the short list of 10 guiding principles are as follows:
  • Inclusion:
    • 1. Ensuring universal coverage for individuals from birth to death, free from discrimination.
    • 2. Removing barriers to access and usage and disparities in the availability of information and technology.
  • Design:
    • 3. Establishing a robust — unique, secure, and accurate — identity.
    • 4. Creating a platform that is inter-operable and responsive
      to the needs of various users.
    • 5. Using open standards and ensuring vendor and technology neutrality.
    • 6. Protecting user privacy and control through system design.
    • 7. Planning for financial and operational sustainability
      without compromising accessibility.
  • Governance:
    • 8. Safeguarding data privacy, security, and user rights through a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework.
    • 9. Establishing clear institutional mandates and accountability.
    • 10. Enforcing legal and trust frameworks though independent oversight and adjudication of grievances.
Republished from One World Identity (OWI) blog.