Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of October 30 – November 7, 2012: Australia, Venezuela, South America, Africa, Philippines

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by NationTalk on November 9, 2012680 Views

Australia: Fortescue Using Legal System To Destroy Yindjibarndi

Following last week’s news that Fortescue Metals Group’s “set up and funded” a native title splinter group to circumvent the Yindjibarndi people’s opposition to Fortescue’s defrauding land access ‘agreement’; and reports of how an FMG agent worked as an ‘inside man’ to get FMG’s land access agreement signed “one way or another”—
 
Venezuela: State Of Sucre Approves New Law On Indigenous Peoples And Communities

On October 12, 2012, legislators in the Venezuelan state of Sucre approved a new Law on Indigenous Peoples and Communities. The new law requires state approval prior to any extraction and/or exploitation of natural resources within indigenous territories. The law also protects the intellectual property rights of indigenous communities concerning their knowledge, technologies, and innovations. Among other guarantees afforded to indigenous communities by the law is the right to intercultural and bilingual education for the strengthening of cultural and ethnic identity, values, spirituality, and the protection of sacred places.
 
South America: Declaration From Indigenous Groups About The Unsustainability Of The Highway Project From Pucallpa, Peru To Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil

Regional monitoring group of megaprojects in Ucayali (GRMMRUR)
Declaration about the unsustainability of the highway project: Pucallpa (Peru) to Cruzeiro do Sul (Brasil)
The signatories below, as members of the Regional monitoring group of megaprojects in Ucayali (GRMMRUR) composed principally of indigenous organisations and local NGOs in Ucayali, express our deep concern at the intent of the Peruvian State to push forward with the “construction of the binational highway Pucallpa (Perú) – Cruzeiro do Sul (Brasil), section Pucallpa –Brasilan border”. The project outline contains serious social, environmental, economic and cultural deficiencies and which in turn will result in serious and profound indirect impacts that are cumultiave, irreversible and predictable.
 
Africa: New Oil Palm Land Grabs Exposed – Asian Palm Oil Companies Run Into Trouble In Africa

Indonesia’s largest palm oil company, Sinar Mas, ran into trouble recently when communities in Liberia complained[1] about a 33,000 ha. operation being developed on their lands by its indirectly-owned subsidiary, Golden Veroleum in Butaw District, Sinoe County. Alfred Brownell, the lawyer from Green Advocates representing the Kru tribes impacted by the project who is attending the 10th Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT10) being held in Singapore this week noted:
 
Philippines: 30 Indigenous Peoples Killed In Aquino’s 28 Months

Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas and KATRIBU Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist put up a ‘tally board’ of extra-judicial killings of indigenous peoples under the Aquino administration along EDSA today. The tally board accounts for the extra-judicial killings of indigenous peoples under President Aquino.
“The killings of our people is deeply alarming,” says KAMP spokesperson Piya Macliing Malayao. “President Aquino may pass this off as just another number, just another statistic of his cruelty and neglect. But to us the 30 indigenous peoples slain by his mercenaries leaves a profound mark on the our struggle for rights to self-determination and ancestral land rights. Most of the indigenous peoples slain mercilessly are leaders and organization members, who are leading struggles against the encroachment of so-called ‘development’ projects and militarization.”
 
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