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The challenge is to ensure that her voice, and those of millions of other indigenous people, does not get drowned out by economic and political power. A woman from the Ndebele tribe in Kwadlaulale Market, South Africa. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flic

Indigenous women versus men of power: the real dispute at the UN

Lisa VeneKlasen

24th September 2014

Both the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit have taken place at the UN this week, writes Lisa VeneKlasen - each producing their lofty declarations. But what really matters is whose voices are being heard, and will be acted on, in a profound clash of worldviews. more...
A group of Dayaks photographed on Borneo in 1910. The Indonesian government no longer recognises the People as 'indigenous', which may rob modern day Dayaks of protection against World Bank financed development projects.

World Bank to roll back safeguards for indigenous people

Irin News

16th September 2014

The World Bank is considering 'reforms' to its policies to protect indigenous peoples from the impacts of projects it finances that would devolve key decisions to national governments - such as whether an ethnic group is 'indigenous' at all. If passed by the Bank's Board, the changes would strip away a raft of essential human rights protections.. more...
Ashaninka traveling by boat from eastern Peru to visit neighbors in Acre state, Brazil. Photo: © Mike Goldwater / Survival.

Assassination in the Amazon

Oliver Tickell

11th September 2014

Four Indian leaders who have opposed illegal logging in their forests have been shot dead in eastern Peru as they traveled by boat to an indigenous meeting in Brazil. The murders followed pleas to Peruvian authorities for protection, and warnings by Brazilian officials that the Indians were in extreme danger. more...
Amaranth amongst the the corn plants. It is traditional in Oaxaca, to grow crops in the same field. This is called the ‘milpa system'. Photo: Anna Bruce.

Amaranth revival - Mexican farmers rediscover an ancient superfood

Anna Bruce

25th October 2014

Mexico's conquistadors outlawed amaranth - a highly nutritious seed farmed by the indigenous peoples for millennia - due to its use in religious rituals. But it's now being hailed as a 'superfood', writes Anna Bruce, and a growing number of Mexican campesinos are once again cultivating the 'noble plant' among their corn, squash and beans. more...
Nightingale singing in a hawthorn tree. Photo: John Bridges / rspb-images.com.

Housing against nightingales - no way!

Martin Harper / RSPB

8th September 2014

A 5,000-house development has just won planning permission on a SSSI nature area in Kent which is home to over 1% of the UK's nightingales. It violates government planning policies, and ministers have the power to stop it. But will they? Yes they will, writes Martin Harper - provided enough people show they care! more...
This $4.9bn diamond mine opens tomorrow in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Photo: Gem Diamonds.

Botswana government lies exposed as $5bn diamond mine opens on Bushman land

Oliver Tickell

4th September 2014

Ten years after promises of 'no mining' in Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a $5 billion diamond mine opens a few miles from a Bushman village. Elsewhere in the Reserve, fracking is under way. And President Ian Khama, a director of Conservation International, denounces the Bushmen as 'poachers' and evicts them from their land. more...
A forest of giant bamboo near Kyoto, Japan. Photo: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr.

Steel and concrete, give over to the new kid - bamboo

Dirk Hebel

4th September 2014

The global construction industry is dominated by steel and concrete, writes Dirk Hebel - but it doesn't have to be that way. There's a strong, fast-growing, climate-friendly, sustainable material ready and waiting. Bamboo could be the basis of a whole new 'green' building industry, that also provides abundant rural livelihoods. more...
Ferguson - Hands Up Don't Shoot! Photo: via PFLP.

Liberation is our birthright! Palestine stands with Ferguson

Khaled Barakat

1st September 2014

Blacks, Indigenous peoples and Palestinians are all engaged in a single struggle against a racist empire that systematically robs, colonises, impoverishes, terrorises, enslaves, imprisons, tortures and murders its subject populations. Their struggle for liberation is one, and will ultimately vanquish as the empire collapses from within.
more...
Lalibai.

India: Women free themselves from a life of cleaning human excrement

Amy Braunschweiger / HRW

3rd September 2014

Women of an 'untouchable' caste in village India are rebelling against a life of cleaning human ordure, poverty and relentless discrimination, writes Amy Braunschweiger. Among them is Lalibai, who inherited her 'job' at the age of 12 - but has just helped to organise a protest march of 10,000 women across 18 states. more...
The Aedes aegypti mosquito - vector for dengue disease - biting a human. Photo: US Department of Agriculture via Wikimedia Commons.

Europe’s warming brings risk of dengue fever

Tim Radford

31st August 2014

As greenhouse gases raise temperatures in Europe, writes Tim Radford, British researchers warn that the risk is increasing of the arrival of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne killer tropical diseases. more...
Algae on the Trinity River, July 2014. Photo: Klamath Justice Coalition.

Fish before agribusiness! California river tribes demand water

Oliver Tickell

22nd August 2014

Large scale salmon deaths are imminent on the Klamath River and its tributaries in northern California due to low flows and high temperatures. Native American tribes are protesting in the state capital as federal agencies illegally prioritize water for large scale agribusiness over fish and indigenous people. more...

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Uncontacted Indians making contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border, June 2014. Photos: © FUNAI.

Peru: uncontacted tribe flees massacre in the Amazon

Alice Bayer / Survival International

22nd August 2014

Survivors of a previously unknown Amazon tribe have escaped gunmen in Peru, seeking refuge with settled indigenous communities in Brazil. But as Alice Bayer reports, their problems are far from over. Many remain under threat in Peru, and even the refugees are at risk of common but potentially lethal infections. more...
Torched Senger home. Photo: Justin Kenrick.

World Bank and UN carbon offset scheme 'complicit' in genocidal land grabs

Nafeez Ahmed

20th August 2014

The plight of Kenya's Sengwer people shows that carbon offsets generated by 'sustainable' forest management are empowering a corporate recolonisation of the South backed by the World Bank against its own guidelines, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Indigenous forest peoples are at risk of genocide while corporations let rip. more...
The recent protest of Mongolian herders in China's Bayangol province, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, before it was broken up by police. Photo: via Intercontinental Cry.

Mongolian herders protest - 'protect our grazing land!'

The Ecologist

8th August 2014

In China's remote Mongolian region, indigenous herders are being forced from their traditional pastures to make way for roads and vast mining projects. Last week they held a public demonstration - but it was immediately dispersed with ten arrests. more...
What will GM crops ever do for her? Neil Palmer / CIAT, CC BY-SA

Kenya chooses GMOs - but there are smarter ways to feed Africa

Andrew Adam-Bradford

9th August 2014

GM crops may benefit agribusiness, writes Andrew Adam-Bradford. But they offer little to Africa or the millions of farming communities that feed the continent. Rather than impose corporate 'solutions', governments should invest in indigenous agro-ecological farming. more...
As far as REDD is concerned, this eucalyptus plantation in South Africa is as good as - or even better than - a natural forest of native species. Photo: Chris Lang via Flickr.

REDD - destroy the forests, seize the profits, blame the victims

Chris Lang

7th August 2014

The World Bank's 'Tropical Forest Action Plan' was an abject failure, writes Chris Lang. Now the same mistakes are being repeated under a new acronym. TFAP is out, REDD is in - but it's still all about corporate control of forests, and blaming deforestation on its victims. more...
Children in fear, Gaza. Source: unknown.

The children of Gaza and the profit being made from their genocide

Heathcote Williams

5th August 2014

As Israel violates its own 'ceasefire' to murder yet another child in Gaza City, the poet Heathcote Williams delves into aspects of Israel, Palestine and the lethal war now under way that rarely surface in the mainstream discourse - and amid the horror, cruelty and rising tide of fascism, finds grounds for long term hope. more...
A Shell oil well-head in Ogoniland - situated in a wetland, and surrounded by spilt oil. Photo by Friends of the Earth International via Flickr.

Niger Delta oil - Shell ignores horrendous pollution

Oliver Tickell

4th August 2014

The systemic failure of the Nigerian government and oil giant Shell to clean up the horrendous oil pollution in the Niger Delta has been branded 'shameful' by a group of Nigerian and international NGOs. more...
Would you like this to happen to your land? The 'revegetated area' of the Yanacocha mine in Maqui Maqui, Peru, after 10 years of gold mining. Photo: Abramovich / Wikimedia Commons.

Community self-defense against mining mega-projects

Raul Zibechi

8th August 2014

If the state does not defend citizens against the violence and destruction of mining, people and communities must defend themselves, writes Raul Zibechi. And in Peru and Colombia that's exactly what they are doing, re-asserting indigenous control of the land and its resources. more...
Protestors gather in Delhi today in the lead-up to mining giant Vedanta's AGM which takes place tomorrow. Photo: Krantikari Yuva Sangathan.

India - 'Foil Vedanta' protests erupt in Delhi

The Ecologist

31st July 2014

Students, workers and civil rights activists gathered in their hundreds today in Delhi to protest at the mining company Vedanta, and the Indian government's support of highly destructive mining projects in forests and on indigenous peoples' lands. more...
Could his loss be Israel's gain? A destroyed house in Gaza and its distraught owner, 22nd July 2014. Photo: Mohammed Al Baba / Oxfam International via Flickr.

Gaza - is annexation Israel's 'permanent solution'?

Oliver Tickell

31st July 2014

As Israel pursues its war on Gaza with ever-increasing ferocity, and with 25% of Gaza's people forced from their homes, what's the final objective? It's unthinkable that Israel's aim is to 'cleanse' the territory of its people, seize its vast gas reserves, and annex some of the Med's hottest real estate. Isn't it? more...
Davi Koponawa outside the Palace of Westminster, London. Photo: Survival International.

Brazil: death threats stalk Amazon shaman Davi Kopenawa

The Ecologist

30th July 2014

As gold miners face eviction from Yanomami territory in the Brazilian Amazon, a rising tempo of death threats have been directed against the shaman Davi Kopenawa following his successful campaign. more...
Unionists protest at RT's labour practices in Cape Town, South Africa, February 2014. Photo: IndustriALL.

Rio Tinto's 'sustainable mining' claims exposed

Kemal Özkan

30th July 2014

Global mining giant Rio Tinto markets itself as a 'sustainable company', writes Kemal Özkan. But serious failures in its reporting, and its attempt to hold an Australian indigenous group to ransom, reveal a very different truth: the company is driven by a reckless pursuit of profit at any cost. more...
About 250 boats took to the Peace River for the 'Paddle for the Peace' event on Saturday 12th July 2014. Photo: Emma Gilchrist.

Canada: saving the Peace Valley

Emma Gilchrist / DeSmog.ca

8th August 2014

Canada's biggest infrastructure project is planned for Peace Valley, BC - a gigantic $7.9 billion dam that would flood 83 kilometres of the Peace River - all to produce electricity that no one needs. But a coalition of farmers, ranchers and First Nations is determined to block it ... more...

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