Friday, August 5, 2011

underreported struggles 52

Ahni at Intercontinental Cry has some very important underreported struggles this month.
In recent months many Bangladeshi indigenous people have taken the streets holding meetings, human chains and rallies, demanding constitutional recognition of their population. The ongoing demand stems from an ‘indigenous' debate, in which many government representatives have denied that any Indigenous People are in the country. An illuminating talk by a Bengali citizen puts the debate into perspective.
The Ramu landowners in Papua New Guinea were shocked to learn a Judge decided to approve the controversial deep sea waste disposal plan for the Chinese-owned Ramu Nickel mine. The approval came only after the judge acknowledge the risk of irreversible harm to marine resources. The landowners say they are going to appeal against the court decision.
Chile's Aysén Environmental Review Commission approved the environmental assessment of a five dam proposal on two rivers. The approval, however, is marred in controversy and has set off protests in many cities, including Santiago. Critics say the series of dams will destroy a largely untouched region of Patagonia. Protests hit Coyhaique, the city where the vote occurred, with over 1,000 people marching. Clashes with police resulted in water canons and tear gas being used on protestors. Reportedly protestors were throwing rocks at commissioners' cars. Dozens were arrested. Similar clashes occurred in Santiago.
The Algonquins of Barriere Lake are celebrating a recent decision by Cartier Resources Inc. to suspend its mining exploration activities in the Algonquin community's traditional territory in northwestern Quebec. The decision sets an important precedent in Canada concerning the Right of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as defined by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
After struggling for more than 30 years to protect the Koongarra region from the threat of uranium mining, Kakadu Traditional owners can breathe a welcomed sigh of relief. The World Heritage Committee recently announced that it would redraw the borders of the Kakadu National Park to include Koongarra.
And many more - please visit Intercontinental Cry and read about these struggles.

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