Q&A with Indigenous leader Gam Shimray on how rights, biodiversity and the global future are intertwined

On the eve of CoP15, Landscape News spoke with Gam Shimray, Secretary-General of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) who has been defending and promoting the rights of Indigenous Peoples for almost 30 years. Here, he explicates just how deeply rights, biodiversity and the global future are intertwined.

On December 6, RRI, the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership (CRP), and the ICCA Consortium—in partnership with the Canadian Research Chair in Human Rights, Health, and the Environment, Montreal International and the Christensen Fund—will co-host a pre-COP15 dialogue on Indigenous and community leadership in conservation.

This keynote address was shared in person on July 21, 2022 at the IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress in Kigali, Rwanda. Patrick calls on governments to leverage the cultural diversity of Africa to craft new conservation models that legally recognize and secure the tenure rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities as a just and viable solution to the global biodiversity crisis.

President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo signs new law to protect Indigenous Pygmy Peoples

President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has signed a historic bill to protect and promote the rights of Indigenous Pygmy Peoples into law. This is the first-ever legislation in the country to recognize and safeguard the specific rights of Indigenous Peoples.

On Gender and Water Day at CoP27, women in the Global South make waves

November 14 marks Gender Day and Water Day at CoP27 in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. We must take a moment to recognize how Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community women and girls are leaders in climate change mitigation and adaptation and integral to attaining the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

There is a future if there is truth: The Truth Commission’s final report on the armed conflict in Colombia

Following more than three years of investigation into the armed conflict in Colombia, the Truth Commission, which was created by the signing of the peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, published the first chapter of its final report on June 28, 2022. This blog post looks at some of its key findings and testimonies.

This July, an RRI delegation participated in the first-ever IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) in Rwanda and included Indigenous and community leaders from the Republic of Congo, the DRC, Liberia, Cameroon, and Kenya. APAC marked a crucial moment in shaping Africa’s conservation agenda and culminated in the Kigali Call to Action. This is our delegation’s response to this Call.

The Stockholm+50 associated event aimed to highlight the role and importance of Indigenous peoples and local communities in safeguarding the world’s forests, ecosystems, and biodiversity. The event was one of three collaborative events held on June 1st at Sida ahead ofStockholm+50, co-arranged by Sida, The Tenure Facility, SwedBio, The Rights and Resource Initiative, and the Focali – SIANI Dialogue Forum.

In Kenya, the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon are a community on the frontlines of forest conservation

Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and the Chepkitale Indigenous Peoples' Development Project (CIPDP) organized a site visit to Chepkitale to learn from the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon and shine light on the transformative role of community-led conservation in protecting Kenya's biodiversity-rich forests.

Global trade, consumption, population growth, and urbanization drive transformations that, in part, drive nature’s destruction. The World Economic Forum ranks biodiversity loss as a global top-five risk. Clearly, protecting the environment should be high on political and policy agendas—but too often environmental governance is weak and policy implementation neglected.

India is among the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. A new study finds that the Forest Rights Act is an effective tool to enable rights-based and gender-responsive approaches to climate action and can legally empower forest dwellers to manage and govern nearly 40 million hectares of the country's forests.

To forge women’s empowerment worldwide, governments and donors must take action for gender justice and urgently make funding available and accessible to Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community women’s organizations in countries in the Global South that have been historically under-supported and under-funded.

In Nepal, Indigenous women generate green jobs through lime cultivation

In Nawalpur district, 197 km southwest of Kathmandu, women from the Tharu and Kumal tribes in Madyavindu Municipality worked together throughout the 2021 monsoon season finding ways to adapt and support their communities while adhering to pandemic safety guidelines, demonstrating their inspiring resilience and socio-economic prowess.

Several forest regulations recently introduced by Nepal’s Ministry of Forest and Environment are raising serious human rights concerns among the country’s local forest communities. These provisions, currently under cabinet review, are geared to become part of Nepal’s Forest Act. But local forest communities say they are in direct contrast to the Act’s spirit and violate their rights.

This report is a product of an extensive collaboration between 20 Indigenous and local community organizations across Asia, and brings together data and stories from communities on the ground to re-position global human rights and conservation discourses at the center of Asia’s unique political realities. It frames conservation beyond being an issue of natural resource management and highlights the question of governance, autonomy, and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to achieve their self-determined development aspirations.

Indigenous community in Indonesia meets with leadership of palm oil company for first time in 25 years

Between December 6 - 9, 2021, representatives from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and PT Inecda Plantations traveled to Talang Parit to meet with the community for the first time since their complaint was submitted to the RSPO in 2020. These meetings offer a glimmer of hope for the community and the island’s natural resources since the Indonesian government issued PT Inecda a plantation permit in 1984.