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Uluru at sunset. Photo: Chris Ford via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia's time to recognise indigenous peoples' sovereignty

Harry Hobbs, UNSW

26th May 2017

For 80 years Australia's Aboriginal peoples have called for land rights and sovereignty, writes Harry Hobbs. And for 80 years they have been ignored or brushed aside. But now delegates meeting at Uluru have issued a 'statement from the heart' demanding constitutional reform to empower Indigenous people to take 'a rightful place in our own country'. Their call must be heard! more...
Guarani tribal leader and activist Ladio Veron speaking outside the Brazilian Embassy in London, in an action replicated across the globe. Photo: still from Survival video.

Only global protest can secure land rights and justice for Brazil's Guarani people

Lewis Evans

24th May 2017

On the one side, the Guarani people and the entire panoply of international and Brazilian law asserting the rights of indigenous peoples to their lives, lands, and way of life. Against them, the entrenched economic and political power of farmers, ranchers, loggers and others exploiting the wealth of the Guarani's soils, forests and waters. Right now the power of money is winning every time. Only with international pressure can the Guarani emerge victorious. more...

Ecologist Special Report: The battle for the ‘mother of rivers'

Nosmot Gbadamosi

22nd May, 2017

Scientists are praising the discovery of new species and rare dolphins in the Mekong region, but overfishing and dams loom to disrupt habitats writes NOSMOT GBADAMOSI in this special Ecologist report more...

Rewilding America - The People & The Land

William Hawes

17th May, 2017

If we are to survive long into this century and beyond, our society will have to learn to re-indigenize (or rewild) itself - both its people and its environment, writes WILLIAM HAWES more...
Mural in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in celebration of indigenous culture by the artist Eduardo Kobra. Photo: Stefano Ravalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Brazil: Amazon's Indians, rainforest under attack

Jan Rocha / Climate News Network

10th May 2017

Attacks on Amazon Indians and on their land rights are threatening vital areas of rainforest, writes Jan Rocha. Meanwhile FUNAI, the agency responsible for safeguarding indigenous tribes is being forced to withdraw from key conflict zones due to underfunding, while Indians' attempts to assert their rights are met with state violence. more...
The Carrizo Plain National Monument, California, represents the last remnant of a once vast grassland. It is just one of 27 at risk form Trump's executive order. Photo: Steve Corey via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Trump's National Monument order could open 2.7 million acres to oil, gas, coal

Lawrence Carter & Joe Sandler Clarke / Greenpeace Energydesk

12th May 2017

President Trump's recent executive order could open an area of America's most precious landscapes bigger than Yellowstone to oil drilling and coal mining, write Lawrence Carter & Joe Sandler Clarke. The 27 monuments 'under review' harbour huge volumes of oil, gas and coal: just what's needed to fuel Trump's vision of fossil fuel-led development - never mind the cost to scenery, wildlife, historic sites and indigenous cultures. more...

Winner of the 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia: Prafulla Samantara

Sophie Morlin-Yron

2nd May, 2017

Meet the man securing justice for the Dongira tribe's sacred hills...in the first of her profiles of two of this year's winners, SOPHIE MORLIN-YRON interviews the recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia more...
Seen here in 2008, this uncontacted indigenous community in Brazil's Amazon may be fierce in defence of its lands. But they don't stand a chance in the face of bulldozers, chainsaws, automatic weapons, and the new diseases brought by loggers, miners and f

Brazil: Government to abandon tribes to 'genocide' by loggers and ranchers

Oliver Tickell

26th April 2017

Brazil's extreme right wing government is preparing to open up the rainforest territories of dozens of uncontacted indigenous tribes to 'free for all' development by defunding the protection they currently receive, according to information received by Survival International, which warns: 'The reality is these cuts could sanction genocide.' more...
Footbridge over the Coapa River in Chiapas, Mexico, which supports local silvopasture (forestry and livestock grazing). Photo: Lameirasb via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

To conserve tropical forests and wildlife, protect the rights of people who rely on them

Prakash Kashwan, University of Connecticut

26th April 2017

Who are the best guardians of forests and other wild places? Governments? Conservation NGOs? Corporations? No, writes Prakash Kashwan, it's the indigenous peoples who have lived in harmony with their environment for millennia. But to be able do so, they must first be accorded rights to their historic lands and resources, both in law and in practice. Among the countries leading the way, Mexico. Among the laggards, Kenya and India. more...

Ecologist Special Report: From fish to forests and conflicts to coffee...how humans are affected by climate-driven species shifts

Tero Mustonen & Hannibal Rhoades

20th April, 2017

Climate change has species on the move, with major consequences for biodiversity and human communities write TERO MUSTONEN and HANNIBAL RHOADES. Building resilience has never been more important and Indigenous Peoples are showing the way more...

Ecologist Special Report: The Indigenous Communities fighting oil companies in the Peruvian Amazon

Arthur Wyns

5th April, 2017

The Indigenous Peoples of Standing Rock are by no means alone in their struggle for the recognition and preservation of their native lands: a very similar story of resistance against oil extraction is taking place further south, and has been going on for almost half a century, namely the fight of the Indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon against oil pollution and oppression, writes biologist ARTHUR WYNS more...
Aerial view of Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar. Photo: via Andrew Lees Trust.

Tall tales and tailings - the truth about Rio Tinto's rare earth mine in Madagascar

Yvonne Orengo

3rd April 2017

Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar was meant to be an exemplar of 'corporate social responsibility' and environmental best practice. But the reality experienced by local communities is different, writes Yvonne Orengo, with uncompensated land seizures, food insecurity, deforestation and social deprivation. New concerns are emerging about the infringement of legal buffer zones and radiation exposure. Rio Tinto must be held responsible for its actions! more...

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At risk: Canaima National Park in the Venezuelan Amazon headwaters. Photo: Antonio Jose Hitcher (@antoniohitcher).

Saving the Venezuelan Amazon: mega-nature reserve? Or mega-mining frontier?

Lucio Marcello

30th March 2017

Venezuela is set to hand over 12% of the nation's territory in the upper reaches of the Amazon rainforest to mining corporations, writes Lucio Marcello, with 150 companies from 35 countries poised to devastate the army-controlled 'special economic zone'. But resistance is growing, and a counter-proposal aims to protect the area's precious biodiversity, indigenous cultures and water resources in a new South Orinoco Mega Reserve. more...
A forest? You might not think so, but according to the FAO's definition, oh yes it is! Photo: Balaji Kasirajan via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

FAO: Plantations are not forests!

World Rainforest Movement

21st March 2017

Since 1948 the UN's Food and Agriculture has been clinging to an outmoded definition of 'forests' that includes industrial wood plantations, writes WRM in this Open Letter for delivery to the FAO today, International Forests Day. This mis-definition seriously harms real forests and forest peoples as it justifies the clearance of real forests and their replacement with cash crops of trees. more...
Roadside banner opposing mining in Intag, Ecuador. Photo: dawn paley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Ecuador's 'progressive' extractivism - mining, ecocide and the silencing of dissent

Carlos Zorrilla

6th March 2017

Ecuador's 'socialist' President Correa has unleashed a wave of repression at Andean communities seeking to protect their lands, forests and nature from open pit mining, writes Carlos Zorrilla. With most of biodiversity-rich Intag region conceded to international mining companies, the mood is one of rising fear and desperation in the countdown to next month's election. more...
Last November 17, 2,000 police rushed onto farmland to enforce land measurement for Kertajati Airport. Photo: Walhi Jawa Barat.

Indonesia: Villagers resist eviction for 50 sq.km airport city on their land

Rose Bridger

5th April 2017

Ten villages and surrounding farmland have already been wiped from the map for a 50 sq.km airport and surrounding 'aeropolis' or airport city in West Java, Indonesia, writes Rose Bridger. And while investors are offered an 'attractive incentives plan', villagers are subject to fierce state repression and brutality. Now only a single village remains standing, but residents continue to resist eviction and demand an end to the project. more...
A village being destroyed with fire, bulldozers and elephants as the Kaziranga Reserve doubles in size into local farmland and settlements. Photo: still from video by BBC Newsnight.

Are India's 'shoot on sight' wildlife guards doing more harm than good?

Bhaskar Vira, University of Cambridge

28th February 2017

Ruthless conservation policies at India's Kaziranga reserve claimed 20 lives in 2015 alone, writes Bhaskar Vira. Now, after a BBC film revealed the grim reality of life for local people, the BBC itself is in the firing line - banned from all India's tiger reserves for five years. Successful conservation must build bridges with communities - not fight them! more...

Indigenous land rights could halt Australia's largest coal mining project

Maxine Newlands

16th February, 2017

Indigenous elders from the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people have put mining company Adani - and Australia's governments - on notice to quit the Carmichael mine project over native title claims. MAXINE NEWLANDS reports more...
Shuar communities are under oppressive military occupation. Photo: via Intercontinental Cry.

Rafael Correa: cease your violent attacks on Ecuador's Shuar Arutam People!

Governing Council of the Shuar Arutam People

24th January 2017

In law, the Shuar Arutam People of Ecuador's Amazon control their ancestral forests. But the government has allocated more than 38% of their territory to large-scale mining, and a gigantic hydroelectric dam is about to be built. Peaceful resistance has been met with a violent military occupation against a People whose only demand, set out in this Open Letter, is peace and justice. more...
Shuar communities are under oppressive military occupation. Photo: via Intercontinental Cry.

Blood and fire: mining and militarization in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Jake Ling / Intercontinental Cry

24th January 2017

The opposition of Ecuador's Shuar People to large scale mining and hydroelectric development in their ancestral forests has triggered a full-scale military occupation of their lands in the Amazon cloud forest, writes Jake Ling, accompanied by a surge in state-sponsored murder and violence - for which Chinese and Canadian mining companies must share responsibility. more...
Evicted from their forests for a flawed model of conservation: Baka 'Pygmies' in the Cameroon forest. Photo: ..zuzu.. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

OECD takes up complaint that WWF has funded abuses of Cameroon's forest peoples

Chris Lang / Conservation Watch

12th January 2017

The OECD is pursuing a complaint that WWF has funded abuses against the indigenous forest-dwelling Baka or 'Pygmy' peoples of Cameroon, after determining that its human rights guidelines do apply to WWF owing to the 'commercial nature' of its conservation activities. more...
Bigor longhouse with land cleared for oil palm in the background. Photo: Sophie Chao.

Malaysia: the Murut struggle against palm oil, for land and life

Sophie Chao

12th December 2016

Supported by state and national governments, palm oil plantations are advancing over the rainforest hills of Sabah, Malaysia, writes Sophie Chao. In their way: the indigenous Murut of Bigor, whose culture, livelihood and very lives are under threat as forests and farms fall to chainsaws and bulldozers, enriching loggers and distant investors beyond the dreams of avarice. more...
Tensions on the bridge at Standing Rock. Photo: Colin Samson, Author provided.

Civil liberties of indigenous people illegally suppressed at Standing Rock

Colin Samson & Øyvind Ravna

9th December 2016

The US is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, write Colin Samson & Øyvind Ravna. Both require free, prior and informed consent for any intrusions on indigenous lands and stipulate that indigenous peoples shall own and control their traditional lands. The US is violating both at Standing Rock. more...
'Entry forbidden - Law number 26834 - Law number 28736 - Zone of restricted access owing to the presence of indigenous peoples living in isolation'. Sign in the Manu National Park, Peru. Photo: oarranzli via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Amazon: rainforest road threatens Peru's last isolated tribes

Oliver Tickell

1st December 2016

Peru's Congress may soon approve a road through remote rainforest which is home to the country's last uncontacted tribes. The link to the Inter-Oceanic highway would open the area up to land grabs, wood cutting and gold mining, and expose vulnerable indigenous people to diseases to which they have no immunity. more...
Caleb Behn. Photo: Caleb Behn / Fractured Land.

Caleb Behn: 'After oil & gas, no amount of money can restore your fractured land'

Jen Stout

24th November 2016

The jobs and quick money that fracking can generate may seem initially attractive, indigenous Canadian activist Caleb Behn told Jen Stout on his recent visit to Scotland. But after decades of oil and gas production, the ineradicable legacy is of fractured landscapes and long-term pollution. 'My land is bisected, divided, by pipelines, roads, well sites, pads, all that. It's really hard on my heart.' more...

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