APPEAL TO URGE THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND GOVERNMENT OF MANIPUR TO PROTECT THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS OF MANIPUR

Nature of incident: Continued pattern of harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders of Manipur, NE India
Identification of Victim: Mr. Jiten Yumnam, an environmentalist and free lance journalist
Date of Incident: 3 October 2013
Identification of Perpetrator: Manipur Police Commandoes, Imphal West, Government of Manipur
Place of Incident: Imphal, Manipur
Source of Appeal: Citizens Concern for Dams and Development, Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur, North East Dialogue Forum, Centre for Research and Advocacy.

Detailed Description of Incident: The targetting of human rights defenders and their organizations for their efforts to promote the right to life, justice remedy, to promote just and participatory forms of development etc in Manpur continues to be a serious form of human rights violations. More

India: Urgent call to halt Odisha mega-steel project amid serious human rights concerns

GENEVA (1st October 2013) –Construction of a mega-steel plant in Odisha in Eastern India should be halted immediately, United Nations independent human rights experts* have urged, citing serious human rights concerns. The project reportedly threatens to displace over 22,000 people in the Jagatsinghpur District, and disrupt the livelihoods of many thousands more in the surrounding area.

“The construction of a massive steel plant and port in Odisha by multinational steel corporation POSCO must not proceed as planned without ensuring adequate safeguards and guaranteeing that the rights of the thousands of people are respected,” the group of eight experts stressed.

While India has the primary duty to protect the rights of those whose homes and livelihoods are threatened by the project, the experts underlined that “POSCO also has a responsibility to respect human rights, and the Republic of Korea, where POSCO is based, should also take measures to ensure that businesses based in its territory do not adversely impact human rights when operating abroad.” More

UN Human Rights Council adopts resolution on Human Rights and Environment, establishes an Independent Expert on the issue

27 March 2012

The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution on Human Rights and Environment that establishes an Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment.

The resolution was adopted on 20 March 2012 at conclusion of 19th session of the Council. Maldives, Costa Rica and Switzerland tabled the resolution and the Council adopted it by consensus, with more than 80 States co-sponsoring.

The resolution crystallizes efforts over many years from many quarters.  It establishes an institutional vehicle to advance the linkages between Human Rights and the Environment.  It is expected that this new Special Procedure will lay the basis for the Council’s recognition of a universal right to a healthy environment.  We have much work to do in the coming three years to achieve this strategic objective. More

PHILIPPINES: Mining the Last Frontier

Lucrative mining projects backed by foreign investors are destroying forests and threatening indigenous tribes who live off the land in the Philippines’ Palawan. Aljazeera’s 101 East explores if a balance could be struck between development and local interests.

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INDIA: Land ownership boosts climate resilience in India

11 Mar 2012 21:26

Source: Alertnet // Manipadma Jena

Despite water shortages, Chilipoi village women with their own small homestead plots are able to grow enough vegetables to feed their families. ALERTNET/Manipadma Jena

By Manipadma Jena

GANJAM, India (AlertNet) – Efforts to secure land ownership for tribal people in one of India’s poorest states are bolstering their economic security in the face of climate-induced hardships, and helping conserve farmland and forest.

In the hamlet of Kharibandh in Ganjam, a coastal district in the eastern state of Orissa (now officially called Odisha), 13 households of the Sabar tribal community each received title to 400 square metres (0.1 acres) of government land two years ago. The families had lived in Kharibandh for three generations, but had no legal right to the land.

Today, Rabibari Sabar, a 51-year-old widow, pedals vigorously on a foot pump to pipe pond water into her plot of seasonal vegetables interspersed with coconut and papaya trees. As well as feeding her family, she earned 1,500 rupees ($30) last year selling tubers and spinach from her homestead farm to neighbouring villagers. More

CAMBODIA: Prey Lang protectors warned

May Titthara
Thursday, 08 March 2012

Member of the Prey Lang Network said yesterday that Ouch Sam On, the deputy governor of Kampong Thom province, had told them he would not be responsible if they were shot while protecting Prey Lang forest.

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Kim Cheng, 50, a member of the network, said villagers would not obey an order to stay out of the forest and would continue patrolling for illegal loggers.

“Ouch Sam On threatened villagers and told us we were not allowed to patrol anymore,” he said.

“Maybe he is cooperating with businessmen who are illegally cutting trees, so he is afraid our patrols will expose his interest.”

More than 30 companies have been granted economic land or mining concessions in the forest, which covers 3,600 square kilometres in four provinces in the country’s north, and villagers say illegal loggers regularly cut down trees for luxury timber. More

PHILIPPINES: Indigenous Peoples’ Group Challenges Aquino Regime: ‘Stop Foreign Mining And Plunder Of Resources’

Indigenous peoples under the progressive partylist KATRIBU, together with various environmental groups, called on the Aquino administration to halt foreign mining operations and defend national resources from plunder, in a protest action at Mendiola earlier today.

More than 600 people from KATRIBU and other groups held the protest in commemoration of the 17th anniversary of the passage of the Philippine Mining Act, which liberalized mining in the country and encouraged foreign investments in the industry.

Protesters decried Aquino’s policy on mining as subservient to foreign interests, and burned an effigy of a foreign puppeteer controlling a marionette of the Philippine president in a backhoe during the program to symbolize their condemnation. More

PHILIPPINES: Conference renews push for Peoples’ Mining Bill

PUBLISHED ON MARCH 2, 2012

By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – “A hundred years after exporting our precious timber, have we become rich?” This is the question Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino threw to the participants of the 3rd Peoples Mining Conference happening until today in Tagaytay City.

The conference has drawn nearly 200 environmentalists from all over the Philippines who, in an earlier regional sharing of mining updates, have already detailed how, on the contrary, most ordinary citizens are becoming poorer and more miserable with every operation of huge mining corporations because of massive resource extraction in their midst. More

PHILIPPINES: Groups from Northern Luzon hold protest against mining corporations

PUBLISHED ON MARCH 1, 2012

By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

Some 300 members of anti-irresponsible mining groups and residents from various provinces in Northern Luzon held a rally in front of the offices of well-know mining corporations in Manila earlier this week in protest against what they said are the countless rights violations these companies have been perpetuating as they implement their mining projects.

Northern Luzon is composed of the Cagayan Valley, Ilocos and Cordillera regions where famous man-made and natural wonders can be found such as the Baguio rice terraces. Majority of residents come from marginalized sectors, among them peasants, fisher folk and indigenous peoples. Many of the mining projects that are posed for implementation are in the mountainous areas where the communities of several indigenous groups such as the Agta, Ilongot and Igorot have been established for centuries. More

PHILIPPINES: Government misses mining Executive Order deadline

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
3:49 am | Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The Aquino administration has failed to meet its own deadline to come up with a comprehensive mining policy amid concerns in the industry over a draft executive order outlining such a proposed mining policy.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on Wednesday said that “due to the weighty issues involved and the significant impact the mining industry has on the welfare of our people and the environment, we are at present conducting additional consultations with industry stakeholders.” More

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