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Precious little harmony here: a building site in Beijing. But change is on the way. Photo: Thembi Mutch.

Amid the smoke and chaos of 'development', China seeks a return to ancient harmony

Thembi Mutch

19th May 2015

China is struggling with a myriad of environmental challenges, writes Thembi Mutch, as the country 'develops' at breakneck speed with massive construction projects, and industrial expansion. But amid the chaos and filth, the Chinese people are mindful of their history and ancient principles of harmony with nature - something that many are working hard to restore. more...
A peaceful protest by the indigenous people fighting the flooding of their land and villages by the Kanhar dam. Photo: Vindhya Bacao (vindhyabachao.org/kanhar).

India: police shoot eight indigenous protestors against illegal dam

Jitendra & Kiran Pandey / Down to Earth

15th April 2015

Police in India's Uttar Pradesh state yesterday opened fire on a 'sit in' by tribal protestors at the construction site of the Kanhar dam, now under construction in open contempt of court orders. Tribal leader Akku Kharwar and eight others were seriously injured by the gun fire. more...
A gigantic dam under construction on the Upper Mekong River.

Damming Tibet: China's destruction of Tibet's rivers, environment and people

Michael Buckley

13th April 2015

When Michael Buckley took a white water rafting trip in Tibet in 2005, he had no idea of the adventure he was embarking on - a ten-year investigation of China ruthless exploitation of Tibet's mineral and hydroelectric resources, and its systematic attack on indigenous Tibetans, their culture and their survival on the land. more...
A typical informal gold-mining operation in Colombia's gold belt. Photo: Josh Rushing via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Colombia - indigenous defender murdered in gold mining frenzy

The Ecologist

10th April 2015

An indigenous leader in Colombia's 'gold belt' has been killed by unknown gunmen as tensions grow between indigenous communities and outside gold mining interests, many of them linked to illegal armed groups and the drug trade. more...
The dazzling pace of development in China comes at a human cost - of those dispossessed to make way for it all. Tianmu is one of the villages in the way of the expansion of Tianjin, pictured. Photo: Yang Aijun / World Bank via Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Tianjin, China: a village 'land grab' protest spells trouble for the Communist state

Samantha Hoffman & Jonathan Sullivan

11th April 2015

Rising anger by China's dispossessed - those displaced from their homes, villages and farms to make way for ever-expanding cities and infrastructure - is posing an existential threat to the ruling regime, write Samantha Hoffman & Jonathan Sullivan. At the root of the problem is the state's inability to tackle endemic official corruption and deliver justice to its citizens. more...
A San 'Bushman' hunter wıth bow and arrow. Photo: Charles Roffey via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Wildlife conference: Tribes demand: 'recognize our right to hunt!'

Oliver Tickell

24th March 2015

At the 'United for Wildlife' conference in Botswana, backed by princes Charles and William, Indigenous organizations from around the world are calling on world leaders to recognize tribal peoples' right to hunt for subsistence. more...
Waterfall in the Srayaku territory in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Photo: skifatenum via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Deep in the Amazon, one tribe is beating big oil

David Goodman

30th March 2014

The people of Sarayaku in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest are a leading force in 21st century indigenous resistance, writes David Goodman, resisting the incursion of oil exploration into their lands, winning legal victories, and inspiring other communities to follow their example. more...
Let them eat carbon! At the 2011 UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Ainhoa Goma / Oxfam International via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Let them eat carbon! The corporate plan to cook Africa in its own fossil fuels

Nnimmo Bassey & Sheila Berry

17th March 2015

Mining corporations, politicians and big NGOs are meeting in London today to plan the future of extractive industries in Africa, write Nnimmo Bassey & Sheila Berry. Absent African civil society and impacted communities, delegates are setting an agenda for 'resource-led development' that will cook the continent in the greenhouse gases of its plundered oil, gas and coal. more...
Fighting the land grabs: peasant farmers on Ile-a-Vache, Haiti, refuse to be moved from their ancestral lands by the US puppet government, 28th February 2014. Photo: marie-chantalle via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

World Bank's Conference on Land & Poverty is a cruel farce

Oliver Tickell

20th March 2015

On Monday the World Bank's Conference on Land and Poverty begins in the US. But farmer organizations, indigenous groups, trade unions and others denounce the whole exercise as a sham that, in tandem with other Bank initiatives, is all about accelerating corporate land grabs and robbing the poor that the Bank was founded to assist. more...
Indian tribes from the Xingu region protest at a Public Hearing for the Belo Monte dam in September 2009. Behind them stands a detachment from Brazil's National Security Force. Photo: J.Gil via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Occupy Amazonia? Indigenous activists are taking direct action - and it's working

Marc Brightman

17th March 2015

The indigenous peoples of the Amazon are employing the tactics of the Occupy movement against oil companies, gold miners and illegal loggers, writes Marc Brightman. Their methods are home-grown: lacking the protection of the state, they have always had to fight their own battles. But recent campaign successes owe much to outside support. We must maintain, and strengthen, our solidarity. more...
Indigenous rangers like Yugul Mangi senior women (from left to right) Edna Nelson, Cherry Daniels and Julie Roy, are crucial guardians of the outback environment. Photo: Emilie Ens, Author provided.

Remote Indigenous communities are vital for our fragile ecosystems

Craig Moritz, Emilie-Jane Ens & Jon Altman

23rd March 2015

Australia's aboriginal communities inhabit remote Outback regions of enormous importance for wildlife conservation, write Craig Moritz, Emilie-Jane Ens & Jon Altman - and they, and the land management services they provide, are essential to maintain both biodiversity and ancient indigenous knowledge. So why is Prime Minister Tony Abbott putting all that at risk? more...
Residents of Prek Smach commune, Kiri Sakor district at a road block they have constructed out of trees and rocks. Botum Sakor national park, Koh Kon Province, Cambodia. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Cambodia: local people risk everything to defend national park sold off to highest bidders

Rod Harbinson

24th March 2015

Botum Sakor national park is one of Cambodia's biodiversity hotspots, where indigenous tribes have long lived in harmony with the forest and its wildlife, writes Rod Harbinson. But now they are being violently evicted as the park is being sold off piecemeal to developers for logging, plantations, casinos and hotels. Now local communities are defending themselves and their land. more...

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A ranger looks at the skull of an elephant killed by poachers - a frequent side-effect of development projects that open up remote forests to human access. Photo: Ralph Buij, Author provided.

Roads to ruin: the G20's ecocidal infrastructure rampage

Bill Laurance

16th March 2015

What's needed to pull the world's economy out of recession? According to the G20, it's a massive wave of 'infrastructure' development worth as much $70 trillion, writes Bill Laurance. But all the roads, mines, dams, pipelines and 'development corridors' will inflict massive damage on wildlife populations and natural havens, not to mention local communities that stand in the way. more...
In happier times, a Kwegu family on a maize field next to the Omo river. Photo: via Survival International.

Ethiopia: Kwegu tribe starves, victims of dam and land grabs

Oliver Tickell

13th March 2015

The Kwegu people of Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley are facing starvation because of the loss of their land to a huge sugar plantation, the destruction of their forest and the damming of the Omo river - supported by a UK, EU and World Bank funded 'aid' program. more...
After a crash in the price of tobacco, Malawian farmers in Chiradzulu district have opted for crop diversification and a path to food security. Photo: Travis Lupick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Agroecology can feed Africa - not agribusiness

Ian Fitzpatrick

10th March 2015

Corporate interests have skewed the entire development agenda for agriculture in Africa, writes Ian Fitzpatrick. Instead of investing in sustainable, small scale farming along agroecological principles that raise production and support rural communities, governments - including the UK's - are backing destructive industrial farming and land grabs. more...
The Peoples' Climate March in New York City, 22nd September 2014. Photo: Light Brigading via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

It's here, and it's growing: the self-assembling Coalition of the Radical Left

Alexander Reid Ross

6th March 2015

Naomi Klein famously called for a 'grand coalition' of the progressive left to fight climate change and Earth-destroying capitalism, writes Alexander Reid Ross. And now it's happening, drawing together diverse strands that encompass the fight for social and racial justice, the right to work, health, clean air and fresh water, and our freedom to be alive and thrive on this our one planet. more...
Hamer people in a village near Turmi in the Omo Valley of Southern Ethiopia - now at risk from a huge dam project and sugar plantations. Photo: David Stanley via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Anthropology is so important, all children should learn it

Marc Brightman

10th March 2015

Anthropology, the study of humankind, should be the first of all the sciences our children encounter, writes Marc Brightman, with its singular capacity to inspire the imagination, broaden the mind and open the heart. Moves to downgrade it in the education system by those who know the price of everything, and the value of nothing, must be fought off. more...
Baka women set off to gather food from their native forest. Increasingly the Baka are excluded from their forests in the name of 'conservation', or limited to ever-smaller areas insufficient to sustain them. Photo: ..zuzu.. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Indigenous Peoples destroyed for misguided 'conservation'

Gordon Bennett & co-authors

3rd March 2015

As we celebrate 'World Wildlife Day' today, there's little for nature's best defenders to be glad of, says human rights lawyer Gordon Bennett. Indigenous Peoples around the world are routinely attacked, starved and cut off from the lands and wildlife they have protected for millennia under a flawed and brutal model of 'conservation'. more...
'Marx Against the Peasant' by David Mitrany (1951) front cover (resized).

Green rising: the betrayal of Europe's peasant democracy

Simon Fairlie

20th May 2015

100 years ago a new political movement swept across Europe, as a vision of agrarian democracy gripped a newly emancipated peasantry, writes Simon Fairlie. Betrayed by dogmatic socialists and crushed under the Nazi boot, it failed to leave a lasting mark on history. But could its time be coming once again? more...
A burnt Maasai village. Photo: InsightShare.org.

Tanzania breaks promise - thousands of Maasai evicted to make way for lion hunt

The Ecologist

27th February 2015

Last November Tanzania's President Kikwete tweeted his promise that the evictions of indigenous Maasai people and their villages near Serengeti National Park would stop. But now another round of evictions is under way: thousands of Maasai have been evicted at gunpoint and their homes burnt to ashes. The Maasai say: 'We need your help!' more...
John Muyiisa is one of the Bugula islanders dispossessed by the IFAD-supervised oil palm plantation that has robbed him of his land and livelihood - and a co-plaintiff in teh legal action that is launched today. Photo: Jason Taylor / FoEI).

UN, banks and oil palm giants feast on the stolen land of Uganda's dispossessed

Anne van Schaik & Oliver Tickell

19th February 2015

A small community in Uganda is challenging a UN-backed international oil palm venture that has expropriated small farmers and obliterated an entire forest on a Lake Victoria island to establish a vast plantation. Three years after the grab, Friends of the Earth groups are backing the islanders legal action, which is launched today. more...
Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Presidente da Associação Hutukara Yanomami. Photo: Joelle Hernandez via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

'The Falling Sky' - words of a Yanomami shaman

Sue Branford

17th February 2015

This powerful book by Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert reveals to us the world view of the Yanomami shaman, writes Sue Branford - together with many uncomfortable insights about the horrors of mainstream modern society, seen from an indigenous viewpoint as a form of organized madness that's driving the world to destruction. more...
Tesemay Tribe members in Ethiopia's Omo Valley. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr.com.

Ethiopia: stealing the Omo Valley, destroying its ancient Peoples

Megan Perry / Sustainable Food Trust

16th February 2015

A land grab twice the size of France is under way in Ethiopia, as the government pursues the wholesale seizure if indigenous lands to turn them over to dams and plantations for sugar, palm oil, cotton and biofuels run by foreign corporations, destroying ancient cultures and turning Lake Turkana, the world's largest desert lake, into a new Aral Sea. more...
All that glitters is not gold ... Diamonds. Photo: Judy van der Velden via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Bushmen aren't forever - the diamonds of the Kalahari

The Ecologist

14th February 2015

Thirty years after diamonds were first discovered in Botswana's Kalahari desert, the Bushmen have been evicted, and the first diamonds have gone on sale. Happy Valentines! more...
Sorghum, one of the crops that feeds Africa, is of little interest to profit-oriented corporate agriculture. Photo: Janki via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Land and seed laws under attack as Africa is groomed for corporate recolonization

GRAIN / AFSA / The Ecologist

12th February 2015

Across Africa, laws are being rewritten to open farming up to an agribusiness invasion - displacing the millions of small cultivators that now feed the continent, and replacing them with a new model of profit-oriented agriculture using patented seeds and varieties. The agencies effecting the transformation are legion - but they are all marching to a single drum. more...

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