MALAYSIA: Orang Asli go to court to stake their land rights against National Park and palm oil plantation

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Jakun-Orang Asli from Kg Peta and the Mersing area share alight moment while waiting for thier case to be called.

28 March 2012

Orang Asli groups of Mersing and Bera districts are in the court asserting their rights to their traditional and customary lands against forced evictions for Endau Rompin National Park in Mersing and oil palm plantation in Bera.

On 21 March, the Orang Asli of Kampung Peta, Mersing, Johor filed an application for leave to apply for judicial review at Johor Bahru High Court against Mersing District Land Administrator’s order to evict the them from their customary land encompassing the Endau Rompin National Park. 51 Orang Asli from Kampung Peta and the neighbouring villages of Tanah Abang, Punan, and Mentelong travelled all the way from the interior of northeast Johor to the state capital for the court matter. More

UN Committee expresses concern about violence against Karen people in Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan National Park

26 March 2012

GENEVA – UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination has expressed concern regarding forceful eviction and harassment of Karen indigenous people from Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan National Park and requested the government to provide information on their situation in the park.

The Committee sent a letter sent to the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN on 9 March 2012 in response to the information submitted by a non-governmental organization.

According to the information, the Committee writes, an increasing level of violence has been committed against the Karen people by the Thai National Park and Forestry Authorities despite existing laws protecting the rights of the Karen people to live in national parks and other forest areas. They point out that laws such as the Thai Cabinet Resolution of 3rd August 2010 (on the restoration of traditional practices and livelihoods of Karen people) categorically provide them with the right to remain in ancestral lands and practise traditional agricultural rotation. More

Indigenous resource management systems: A holistic approach to nature and livelihoods

Posted on March 14, 2012

Joint community rice harvesting by the Karen people in the highlands of northern Thailand.

By Dr. Maurizio Farhan-Ferrari, Environmental Governance Programme Coordinator
Forest Peoples Programme, Moreton-in-Marsh, UK

Two peer-reviewed studies published recently by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the World Bank show that strict conservation is less effective in reducing deforestation than community forests that are managed and controlled by indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities within multiple use systems.

This article argues that indigenous resource management systems are not only well poised to reduce deforestation rates but also to provide a rich array of experiences, expertise, and practices that can significantly contribute to protecting biodiversity, food security, and sustainable livelihoods in indigenous communities, as well as finding answers to climate change challenges. More

CAMBODIA: Conservation Helps Secure Land Rights In Cambodia

Published on Friday, 16 March 2012

A vulnerable ethic minority village inside Cambodia’s remote Seima Protection Forest today became one of the first in Cambodia to receive a collective land title, which will help villagers fend off threats to their land and culture while also strengthening conservation goals.

The Senior Minister for Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, H.E. Im Chhun Lim, visited the ethnically Bunong village of Andoung Kraloeng village to mark this historic moment. The legal system has been piloted in three villages – the first two received titles last December, but the third is the only one in a protected forest and so sets crucial precedents for similar villages.

It has taken eight years for these first villages to receive their titles, but with the system now in place the rate of issuance is now expected to rise. Hundreds of other villages are eligible and many have begun the application process, including 12 in and around the Seima area. Eventually it is hoped to offer this opportunity to all interested villages around the reserve. More

CAMBODIA: Indigenous People To Hold Protest March to Save Their Land

07/03/2012

Phnom Penh, (SCB Press)–Cambodia’s indigenous people plan to hold peaceful rally march in Ratanakiri’s Banlung city on 19 March to protest against land grabbing and rampant illegal logging in their community according to letter issued today from Ratanakiri ADHOC Office to provincial hall.

The protest march will have 1000 indigenous people from different affected communities of Ratanakiri to participate in the march. The letter stated that the marcher will first rally at ADHOC Office in Ratanakiri to pray for help from ancestor spirit and then walk from office across key departments and offices of the province which those are Department of Transpiration, Agriculture, Information, Ratanakiri Forestry Administration Office, Court House, Provincial Hall and provincial roundabout before return to provincial ADHOC office. More

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

MALAYSIA: Indigenous Peoples Say No To ‘Disaster Development’ In Sarawak

By  Mar 9, 2012

stop-corruption-dams.com

It’s no mere coincidence that Sarawak is one of the most impoverished states in Malaysia. For more than 30 years the governments of Malaysia and Sarawak have been far too busy ransacking the region’s precious rainforest to secure and strengthen what has been there for thousands of years.

That’s because development in Sarawak has always been about making money; and as any real capitalist knows, the more money you have to spread around, the less you have for your self and your friends and family. More

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