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Indigenous Peoples: 1/25 of 287
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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...
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...
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...
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...

Indigenous Peoples: 1/25 of 287
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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...
Sônia Guajajara, coordinator of the National Indigenous Association, marching for indigenous rights to health care. Photo: Gert-Peter Bruch / Planète Amazone.

Resisting authoritarianism: Brazil's indigenous victories show the way

Christian Poirier / Amazon Watch

22nd November 2016

Brazil's indigenous peoples rose up against the government's plans to suppress the rights they had fought so hard to win over decades, writes Christian Poirier. Their victory shows the way to defend our achievements and rights: collective struggle, organized response, strong mobilization and ceaseless pressure. more...
Local communities in Pitas are monitoring the area in order to prevent the project from expanding into the remaining 1,000 acres of mangrove forest. The sign reads: Future for indigenous peoples. Photo: Camilla Capasso / FPP.

'Poverty alleviation' shrimp farms destroy mangrove forest, grab indigenous land

Camilla Capasso

17th November 2016

A government-led shrimp farming project meant to tackle extreme poverty in northern Sabah, Malaysian, won local support in 2010 by promising job opportunities for impoverished indigenous communities. Six years on, mangrove forests local people depend on for food, materials and income are closed off and being cleared - but the jobs have yet to materialise. more...
A fisher going to set his fishing gear at rapids at Don Sahong on the Mekong River. Photo: International Rivers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Don Sahong Dam - disaster in the making that must be halted!

Save the Mekong Coalition

17th November 2016

The construction of the Don Sahong Dam in Laos PDR must be halted until full information on the project's impacts - in particular the fate of millions of fish that migrate each year through the Hou Sahong channel now being dammed - has been published, writes the Save the Mekong Coalition in this open letter sent today to the project developers. more...
Aboriginal Traditional Owners protest against nuclear waste, Australia. Photo: Friends of the Earth International via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No means no! South Australia must dump the nuclear dump

Ian Lowe, Griffith University

16th November 2016

A 350-member Citizens' Jury convened to decide on whether a massive nuclear waste dump would benefit South Australia just gave the plans a big 'No!', writes Ian Lowe. SA Premier Weatherill must drop his attempt to reverse that decision with a referendum, and accept the jury's well informed, democratic verdict. more...
Military tanks in fields cultivated by a-Ras al-Ahmar community, partially seen in the top-left corner. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 27 Jan. 2016.

Israeli military resumes live fire manoevres on Palestinian farmland

The Ecologist

17th November 2016

Israeli military forces have resumed their harassment of Palestinian pastoralists in the occupied Jordan Valley, part of the West Bank, holding live-fire tank and infantry maneuvers on pastures and cropland close to local communities, accompanied by the forced expulsion of both people and livestock. more...
A logging truck in Asia Pulp and Paper's PT Wira Karya Sakti pulpwood forest license. Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2005. Now APP is financing forest restoration through the Belantara Foundation. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY

Hope for forests at COP22

Tony Juniper

15th November 2016

COP22 has revealed signs of real momentum toward an effective role for tropical forests in achieving a low carbon future, writes Tony Juniper. Now for the hard bit - connecting with realities on the ground to make it happen. This will mean working with indigenous and other forest communities to support and reward their conservation efforts, while harnessing large-scale international carbon finance. more...
'Water is our first Medicine' - Water Protectors locked onto machinery, halting construction two days after the Dakota Access pipeline company bulldozed sacred burial sites. Photo: UnicornRiot.Ninja via Prachatai on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Dakota Access Pipeline: Native American religion matters!

Rosalyn R. LaPier, Harvard University

8th November 2016

The intimate connection between landscape and religion is at the center of Native American societies, writes Rosalyn R. LaPier, and a key reason why thousands of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples from around the world have traveled to the windswept prairies of North Dakota. There is no excuse for the ignorance and disrespect of corporations, and government. more...
Four generations of Aboriginal Elder Yami Lester's family, united in their opposition to any nuclear waste dump on their land. Photo: author provided.

No way! South Australians reject international nuclear waste dump

Jim Green

9th November 2016

An officially convened 350-strong Citizens' Jury has decisively rejected South Australia's plans to import over half a million tonnes of high and intermediate level nuclear waste for long term storage, writes Jim Green. This has dealt a powerful blow against the project from which it is unlikely to ever recover, and represents a major victory for campaigners, indigenous Australians and economic sanity. more...
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, at the 14th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - 27 April 2015, New York. Photo: via rightsandresources.org.

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz: 'The better protected areas are those where indigenous peoples live!'

Joe Eisen / Conservation Watch

19th October 2016

Indigenous Peoples are often the victims of nature conservation, according to a new report by Vicky Tauli-Corpuz presented to the UN this week, as they are expelled from lands they have inhabited for millennia. One reason, she told Joe Eisen, is that indigenous territories are precisely the places where biodiversity is best preserved - thanks to the protective, nurturing presence of their traditional owners. more...
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