Wednesday, February 2, 2011

underreported struggles 46

Ahni at Intercontinental Cry has some very important underreported struggles this month.

UNESCSO was singled out for its lack of interest in protecting the Philippines Island Province of Palawan. The UN organization declared the island a Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1990; however, today, there is a concerted effort to hand it over to mining interests--putting at risk the island's delicate ecosystem, several endangered species and the local indigenous population.
A South Australian court slammed the door on a massive copper-gold exploration project on the Kokatha's ancestral lands. In its judgment, the court stated that the Kokatha's rights as well as the significance of the area and their longstanding and consistent opposition to mining, ultimately outweighed the potential value of the project. The ruling is a major victory for the Kokatha, who have been struggling to secure their land rights for more than 20 years.
Botswana's Court of Appeal reversed a 2010 High Court ruling that denied the Kgeikani Kweni (San) access to water on their ancestral lands. Celebrating after the decision, a San spokesman said, "We are very happy that our rights have finally been recognized. We have been waiting a long time for this. Like any human beings, we need water to live. We also need our land. We pray that the government will now treat us with the respect we deserve."
The Republic of the Congo became the first African state to adopt a law for the safety and equal rights of Indigenous Peoples. James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said of the groundbreaking legislation, "it provides an important example of a good practice in the region for the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples."
FUNAI, Brazil's department of Indigenous Affairs, issued an order restricting entry to lands near the site of the planned Belo Monte hydro project, following indications that Isolated Peoples are living there. However, despite the restriction, FUNAI decided to gave its approval for the controversial dam project. If the dam is completed, the isolated peoples would be displaced.

And many more - please visit Intercontinental Cry and read about these struggles.

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