The Ecologist


indigenous rights: 1/25 of 26
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This Baka boy, and his community, hunt only for their own subsistence. But they are criminalised by the 'fortress conservation' promoted by 'Last Days of Ivory'. Photo: Seclen Kucukustel / Atlas.

'Last Days of Ivory' promotes a military conservation that is fatal for tribal peoples

Lewis Evans

17th November 2015

The massacre of elephants for Asian ivory trade is driving the iconic African giant to extinction, writes Lewis Evans. But the 'military response' is both brutal and ineffective, all the more so as it excludes and alienates the indigenous communities who are the best defenders of nature and wildlife. The simplistic message of 'Last Days of Ivory' is both damaging and dangerous. more...
Internally displaced Rohingya residents of a camp near Sittwe carrying vital supplies of rice and cooking oil. Photo: Mathias Eick, EU/ECHO, Rakhine State, Burma, September 2013.

Genocide: Burma's Rohingya sacrificed in global scramble for oil and gas

Nafeez Ahmed

13th November 2015

As Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy takes a strong lead in Burma's elections, Nafeez Ahmed warns that the military will remain the real power in the land. And as UK, EU, US, Chinese and Gulf state energy corporations compete to exploit Burma's hydrocarbons, don't expect them to denounce the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya, and anyone else in the way of their oil and gas infrastructure. more...
Women of the Dongria Kondh tribe make their way to a gram sabha hearing to determine their religious rights over the Niyamgiri mountain in Odisha, 13th August 2013. Photo: jimanish via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

India's Indigenous Peoples organise to protect forests, waters and commons

Pushpa Achanta / Waging Nonviolence

7th November 2015

India's neoliberal government is attempting the mass seizure of indigenous lands, commons and forests in order to hand them over for corporate exploitation with mines, dams and plantations, writes Pushpa Achanta. But tribal communities are rising up to resist the takeover, which is not only morally reprehensible but violates India's own laws and international human rights obligations. more...
Sue Lloyd Roberts, over a drink on a terrace next to Covent Garden, 2012. Photo: Bogdan Adrian Bisa via Facebook.

Sue Lloyd Roberts - the BBC must make sure her work continues

Oliver Tickell

14th October 2015

Sue Lloyd Roberts, the brilliant investigative journalist who died yesterday, was a unique phenomenon in the BBC, writes Oliver Tickell - fearless, rooting out the dirtiest of secrets, fighting the cause of the oppressed, abused, exploited and downtrodden. Now the BBC must keep her mission alive with a new, independent unit dedicated to human rights worldwide. more...
Donald Shadforth, a traditional owner, at the dilapidated Redbank mine tailings storage. Photo: P. Taplin.

Australia: Indigenous communities must take centre stage in 'development'

Seán Kerins

7th September 2015

Indigenous Australians are systematically deprived of the benefits of mining and other developments, writes Seán Kerins, and being left to suffer their environmental impacts. As Abbott's government prepares a bonfire of 'red tape', it's time to put Indigenous interests first, and place their communities at the centre of decision making. more...
A demonstration of West Papuans against Indonesia's military occupation. Photo: Free West Papua campaign.

West Papua: after 50 years of cruel repression, the intoxicating smell of freedom

Jason MacLeod / Waging NonViolence

4th September 2015

Indonesia's murderous campaign of military repression in its stolen territory of West Papua continues, writes Jason MacLeod. But a courageous 50-year struggle for human rights and freedom is finally bearing fruit, with growing recognition of West Papua's right to nationhood among its Pacific neighbours. Real hopes of a better future are rising above the blood and pain. more...
On 14th April 2015, a demonstration in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh against a proposed dam on the Kanhar Valley by Adivasi, Dalit protesters was met with police violence and gunfire which injured seven women and one man. Photo:

Legal 'reforms' may make violence the only option for India's eco-defenders

Arpitha Kodiveri

26th August 2015

President Modi is determined to sweep away 'obstacles to growth' including the laws that allow marginalised communities to challenge the confiscation of their lands and forests for dams, mines and other 'development' projects, writes Arpitha Kodiveri. If proposed 'reforms' are enacted, the only remaining avenue of dissent may be one of armed conflict. more...
Guarani man Semião Vilhalva lies on the ground, murdered by ranchers' gunmen last weekend. Photo: still from video by Marcelo Zelic via Facebook.

Brazil: Guarani man murdered by ranchers' gunmen

The Ecologist

2nd September 2015

Guarani man Semião Vilhalva was murdered by ranchers' gunmen last weekend after his community reoccupied parts of their ancestral land from ranchers. Thousands of Guarani Indians holding on to tiny patches of their ancestral land are living in constant fear of forcible eviction. more...
Young Mursi cattle herders. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

US, UK, World Bank among aid donors complicit in Ethiopia's war on indigenous tribes

Will Hurd

22nd July 2015

USAID, the UK's DFID and the World Bank are among those covering up for severe human rights abuses against indigenous peoples in Ethiopia's Omo Valley, inflicted during forced evictions to make way for huge plantations, writes Will Hurd. Their complicity in these crimes appears to be rooted in US and UK partnership with Ethiopia in the 'war on terror'. more...
Police line up at a 2012 demo against the Lobo regime in Tegucigalpa. Photo:  hondurasdelegation via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Honduras under Occupation - murders, land grabs, and Hillary Clinton's 'hard choices'

Eric Draitser & Ramiro S. Fúnez

2nd July 2015

Honduras has endured six years of violence and land grabs after the 2009 US-backed military coup made the country a playground for Hillary Clinton's billionaire friends, write Eric Draitser & Ramiro S. Fúnez - and a hell for the country's indigenous and small scale farming communities, whose leaders are routinely murdered with impunity by US-trained forces. more...
The JNF-sponsored Yatir Forest advances over a hill towards the Bedouin village of Atir. Photo: Amjad Iraqi / 972 Mag.

Israel's Forest of Yatir to expand over Bedouin village

Amjad Iraqi / 972 Mag & The Ecologist

23rd June 2014

It should be good news, but it's not. Israel's largest man-made forest is set for enlargement, but at the expense of a village where a Bedouin community has lived since they were resettled there in 1956. Its sister village is to be demolished so a new Jewish town can be built on its ruins. more...
What future for Australia's Aboriginal People as they are forcibly evicted from their homelands, their human rights denied by a fanatically right wing government. Photo: Johanna Alexis via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Forced evictions are Australia's latest racist assault on Aboriginal People

John Pilger

28th April 2015

Australia's deliberate and calculated attacks on its indigenous population carry many of the hallmarks of genocide, writes John Pilger. And things are getting worse, not better, as states that have grown rich by exploiting Aboriginal land evict and demolish remote Aboriginal communities. more...

indigenous rights: 1/25 of 26
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Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz speaking at the Left Forum, 20 March 2010. Photo: Thomas Good / NLN via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

The American genocide, indigenous resistance and human survival: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Stephyn Quirke

21st May 2015

The Indigenous Peoples of North America are the survivors of a multi-century genocide that was still being deliberately waged in the 1950s and has still not stopped today, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz told Stephyn Quirke. But the fightback is on, and for the world to overcome both genocide and ecocide, the indigenous struggle must grow to encompass the mass of humanity. more...
'They beat us at the WWF base. I nearly died.' Baka 'Pygmy', Cameroon. Photo: Survival International.

Wildlife conservation must support, not destroy, Indigenous Peoples

Stephen Corry

6th February 2015

'Conservation' is destroying those who've nurtured their surroundings for timeless generations, writes Stephen Corry - the Indigenous Peoples who have actually fashioned those precious places that we now mistake as 'natural'. It's time for a new conservation ethic that recognizes them as senior partners - not as 'squatters'' and 'poachers' to be evicted and criminalized. more...
Massacre by Burmese army

Explaining Burma's missing 9 million people - evaporation, or genocide?

Guy Horton

20th November 2014

The best way to deal with embarrassing, inconvenient facts is to ignore them, writes Guy Horton. And this is precisely what the international community is doing over Burma's demographic anomaly - 9 million people who ought to be there, but aren't. Their absence is prima facie evidence of genocide - but as we all celebrate the 'brave new Burma', no one wants to know. more...
Denounced to the police for illegal logging, but no action taken - Señor Adeuzo Mapes Rodríguez, aka 'Capelon'.

Peru: indigenous leaders murdered for protecting their forests

The Ecologist

18th November 2014

As Peru prepares to host UN climate talks, Global Witness exposes the murder of Peruvian eco-defenders - 57 killed since 2002, including indigenous leaders protecting their forests from illegal logging ignored by police and Government. more...
The Indigenous Peoples of Russia's Siberian region are among those opposed to oil development in the Arctic. Is that why officials blocked their representatives from attending the indigenous summit in New York? Photo: Irina Kazanskaya via Flickr.

Russia: officials block indigenous leaders from UN Assembly

The Ecologist

26th September 2014

Why so few Russian representatives at the UN's World Conference on Indigenous Peoples? Officials prevented activists - some opposing Arctic oil development - from leaving the country, damaging passports and detaining them so they missed their planes. 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...
A typical indigenous village in up-country Buriram Province, NE Thailand. Photo: Pinyapat Smily Wilaichit via Flickr.

Thailand army forcibly evicts six forest villages


23rd July 2014.

Forest-dwellers in Buriram province involved in a land dispute with the Thai government have been forcibly evicted, intimidated, arrested, held without charge, and dumped on a site unfit for human habitation with no water supply. more...
Massacre by Burmese army

Aung San Suu Kyi: complicity with tyranny

Guy Horton

31st October 2013

Aung San Suu Kyi is the international face of Burma and a global icon of courage, endurance and moral authority. But as Guy Horton reports from Burma, she is now actively colluding with the Burmese military's violent campaigns against minority ethnic and religious groups. more...
Martín von Hildebrand, founding Director of the Fundación Gaia Amazonzas

CAMPAIGN HERO: Martín von Hildebrand on indigenous rights in the Colombian Amazon

Mark Briggs

13th April. 2012

The veteran campaigner talks to the Ecologist about the ongoing struggle to secure indigenous land rights and how he successfully took the Colombian government to court more...

Tainted gold: thousands join protest against Peru's largest ever mining project

Gervase Poulden

17th January, 2012

A US-backed billion-dollar gold mine has attracted thousands of protestors in recent weeks. Many have the poor economic legacy of existing mines fresh in their minds, reports Gervase Pouldon in Cajamarca, Peru more...
Ecologist Archive

Indonesia wages war against tribe

Paul Kingsnorth

29th January, 2009

Armed and financed by Western corporations, Indonesia is waging a brutal war against a tribal people with little more than bows and arrows to defend itself. more...

Trade in precious minerals and timber continues to fuel violence and conflict across the globe


1st June, 2008

Revenues obtained from the often illegal extraction and supply of commodities such as timber and diamonds are directly bankrolling corrupt regimes and armed insurgency groups, and fund the purchase of weapons and other contraband goods that perpetuate cycles of conflict. more...

The Bushmen of the Kalahari

Sandy Gall

1st September, 2003

Sandy Gall describes the genocide the Botswanan government is waging to clear the Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve more...


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