Colombia has recognised the autonomy of indigenous communities across the Amazon through a new decree - described as the most important step for Amazon indigenous rights in 30 years. BRENDAN MONTAGUE reports
Blackberrying and tweeting. These words used to evoke strong memories and feelings of nature. Now, they are about technology, old and new. NATALIE BENNET argues access to nature should be a human right for our children, so our connections with the environment are not lost
Community leaders from Colombia, the Philippines and Uganda have been in London challenging attendees of the Mines and Money Conference. HANNIBAL RHOADES, TATIANA GARAVITO and SEBASTIAN ORDONEZ report.
President Santos of Colombia has won awards for championing peace and biodiversity. He was in London recently to receive the Kew International Medal, the first head of state to be awarded the honour by the Royal Botanical Gardens (RGB) Kew. But not everyone is impressed, reports CATHERINE EARLY.
Massacres like that reported to have taken place recently in the Amazon are sadly neither new nor uncommon. For uncontacted tribal peoples, the colonial era continues, as bandits and extractive industries, abetted by a corrupt government, inflict violence and plunder on them. LEWIS EVANS puts this brutality into context, and examines potential solutions.
On World Day of Indigenous Resistance, Wayúu woman ANGELICA ORITZ shares her experience as a human rights defender, living and fighting for the future of her community in the shadow of the largest opencast mine in Colombia
Impunity reigns in the Amazon, write Joe Sandler Clarke & Sam Cowie, and the indigenous peoples of the forest are the big losers as they suffer repeated killings and land grabs. Big cuts to Funai, the agency meant to protect Brazil's indigenous tribes, have encouraged land barons to expand their land holdings into indigenous territories and murder any who resist.
For 80 years Australia's Aboriginal peoples have called for land rights and sovereignty, writes Harry Hobbs. And for 80 years they have been ignored or brushed aside. But now delegates meeting at Uluru have issued a 'statement from the heart' demanding constitutional reform to empower Indigenous people to take 'a rightful place in our own country'. Their call must be heard!
On the one side, the Guarani people and the entire panoply of international and Brazilian law asserting the rights of indigenous peoples to their lives, lands, and way of life. Against them, the entrenched economic and political power of farmers, ranchers, loggers and others exploiting the wealth of the Guarani's soils, forests and waters. Right now the power of money is winning every time. Only with international pressure can the Guarani emerge victorious.
Over 90% of major armed conflicts between 1950-2000 occurred in countries containing biodiversity hotspots,writes Alex Reid, and more than 80% of these took place in the hotspot areas themselves. This poses a major challenge to the conservation community: to work in combat zones to strengthen environmental protection before, during and after conflicts. Or better still, to defuse incipient conflicts and resolve those under way, to reduce their toll on people, and nature.
Post Brexit, get ready for a massive attack on our liberty, especially on the right to protest, writes Paul Mobbs. With the UK likely to secede from the European Convention on Human Rights, prepare for a new empowerment of police to act with impunity against peaceful activists. We must be ready to stand up, with honour and dignity, for our ancient British right to dissent.
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.
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.
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.