Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 20-26, 2009: Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues for the Week of May 20 - 26, 2009

Bangladesh: Chittagong Hill Tracts: Appeal To Bangladeshi Prime Minister

Appeal for implementation of CHT Accord by adopting a clear roadmap with timeframe.

Below is a memorandum issued by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD) and Kapaeeng Foundation at the National Press Club:

Honorable Prime Minister,

Greetings! We, on behalf of citizens of the country, congratulate you for winning of Grand Alliance led by Awami League with broad majority in the general election held on 29 December 2008. Civil society hope that the country will transform into a land of real democracy with rule of law, having food security, rapid development and peaceful existence. It is very hopeful that Awami League made clear commitment in its election manifesto ‘A Charter for Change’ section 18.2 that “The 1997 Chittagong Hill Tract Peace Accord will be fully implemented. More efforts will be directed toward the development of underdeveloped areas, and special programmes on priority basis will be taken to secure rights of the ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples and other communities, and to preserve their language, literature, culture, and unique lifestyles.”

We hope you are aware that in order to strengthening the cooperation of the citizens of the country in implementing the CHT Peace Accord, Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD) and Kapaeeng Foundation jointly organised a seminar on 'Government's commitment to implement the CHT Accord and Active Popular Support' at the National Press Club in Dhaka on 31 March 2009. This seminar were attended by eminent citizens of the country including the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of CHT Affairs Mr. Promod Mankin MP and Chairman of the Task Force on Rehabilitation of Returnee Jumma Refugees and Internally Jumma Displaced People Mr. Jatindra Lal Tripura MP. The citizens participated in this seminar urged the present government to implement the CHT Peace Accord by framing a clear roadmap. Read the rest of the appeal here....

Philippine: Four Tribes Get Titles Over Ancestral Lands

Mark May 27 a “big day” for the country’s more than eight million indigenous peoples.

The day, in fact, deserves a thanksgiving ritual because four of the 29 Certificates of Ancestral Domain Title (CADTs) would be registered with the Registry of Deeds (ROD) by that time, Rolando Rivera, commissioner for Luzon of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, said on Sunday.

“This is a milestone in the campaign to secure the tenure of ethnic tribes over their lands,” said Rivera, son of the late Abelling chieftain, Rodolfo Kulandit Rivera.

The registration perfected the ownership of 5,717 Aeta, Abelling and Dumagat tribe members in Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan and Aurora over 25,764 hectares of lands and waters.

Rivera said the first four ROD-registered CADT would be awarded on Wednesday. He said President Macapagal-Arroyo would lead the awarding rites for at least two tribes. Read more about Philippine indigenous land title here....

Australia: World Heritage Listing Plan Fires Anger On Cape York

A MOVE to begin World Heritage listing for Queensland's Cape York Peninsula has opened a deep rift between traditional owners and the Rudd Government, jeopardising Kevin Rudd's promise to tackle Aboriginal disadvantage.

Cape York leader Noel Pearson declared yesterday he could no longer trust the Rudd Government to properly consult and gain consent from traditional owners after state and territory environment ministers dismissed his objections and moved ahead with the first steps towards World Heritage listing for Cape York.

Mr Pearson is locked in a bitter dispute with the Queensland Government over plans to ban development of the cape's "wild rivers", which he argues will destroy opportunities for Aborigines to create economic development in the communities. He sees the Rudd Government's silence over the issue and its failure to stop the move towards World Heritage listing as a breach of faith.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett last night said he would not intervene in the dispute.

"The commonwealth Environment Minister does not have a role in the wild rivers matter, those are issues for the Queensland Government, Mr Pearson and others to discuss," Mr Garrett said.

"I am committed to a full and thorough consultation as part of today's decision about tentative listing. This will be an exhaustive process which we extend over the coming years." Read more about the World Heritage listing here....

Peru: Indigenous Mobilizations In Peru

While one legislative decree has been repealed by the Constitution Commission in Peru's Congress, indigenous groups continue their protests demanding that the other nine decrees also be repealed. AIDESEP leader, Alberto Pizango, who was recently charged with sedition and disturbing the peace, approves of the small step forward.

Amazon Watch has published an issue brief explaining the context and background on the situation in Peru. The brief explains President Garcia's attitude toward indigenous land and how indigenous leaders have been pursuing adequate recognition of their land rights for years. The indigenous groups have also been pushing for Peru to comply with the standards set out in the International Labor Organization 169 treaty. Read more on the protests in Peru here....

International: United Nations Permanent Forum On Indigenous Issues 2009

The Eighth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is currently taking place in New York, NY. Information on the Forum can be found at the UN site. Documents associated with the Forum can be found on the doCip site. Other documents delivered at the forum can be found on the Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources site.

Last weeks Five Key Indigenous People's Issues can be found here.

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