Indigenous Peoples’ Property Rights – Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights applies and interprets the American Convention on Human Rights in respect to the 20 State Parties who have agreed to the Court’s contentious jurisdiction. Only a State Party or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has the capacity to bring cases before the Court. The Court has developed a strong jurisprudence on …   Continue readingIndigenous Peoples’ Property Rights – Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Whakatane Assessments, Rights-Based Assessments of Protected Areas

Whakatane Assessments are part of a larger programme called the Whakatane Mechanism, which is implemented by the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), the Forest Peoples Programme, and other indigenous peoples’ organisations (IPOs). According to IUCN, the Whakatane Mechanism “is a process to assess, address and redress situations, …   Continue readingWhakatane Assessments, Rights-Based Assessments of Protected Areas

Decision of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice: Amparo No. 631/2012 (Independencia Aqueduct)

The Yacqui Tribe from Sonora, Mexico, filed an amparo action against the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT/Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources) concerning the construction of the Independencia aqueduct, which is designed to remove 60 million cubic metres of water from the Yaqui River to supply water to the city of Hermosillo. …   Continue readingDecision of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice: Amparo No. 631/2012 (Independencia Aqueduct)

Community Protocols

Natural Justice works with local communities and indigenous groups to assist them to prepare protocols that set out their customary, national and international rights relating to their community or territories and the natural resources within them. Natural Justice explains that these protocols serve both a defensive and proactive function. Defensively, they serve to …   Continue readingCommunity Protocols

The Living Convention and Human Rights Standards for Conservation

The rights of indigenous peoples and local communities are addressed in a wide range of international instruments, each with its own particular focus. As a result, indigenous peoples and local communities are often unaware of their rights relating to issues such as development on their territories, lands and waters and the use of their natural resources and …   Continue readingThe Living Convention and Human Rights Standards for Conservation

Norway’s Finnmark Act

Article 110a of the Norwegian Constitution recognizes “the responsibility of the authorities of the State to create conditions enabling the Sami people to preserve and develop its language, culture and way of life.” The county of Finnmark, located in the northeast of the country, is the ancestral land and home of Norway’s indigenous Sami people. After many years of …   Continue readingNorway’s Finnmark Act

Suriname’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Assistants Programme

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), an international effort that was initiated by the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC 1/CP.16 2010, ¶ 70), seeks to create incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through a variety of …   Continue readingSuriname’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Assistants Programme

Australia’s National Indigenous Climate Change Partnership

The National Indigenous Climate Change (NICC) project is a forum established in 2008 by indigenous leaders to provide dialogue between corporate representatives, indigenous peoples and other experts about issues, risks and opportunities associated with climate change and participation in carbon markets. According to the project’s webpage, the project “(along with …   Continue readingAustralia’s National Indigenous Climate Change Partnership

Community-Based Sustainable Forest Management Plans

The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) is a community-based indigenous environmental organization working in the far south of Belize, in a region in the Toledo District that lies between the Sarstoon and Temash Rivers. SATIIM co-manages, with the Belizean Forest Department, the 41,898 acre Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNP). The Park was …   Continue readingCommunity-Based Sustainable Forest Management Plans

Indian Minister of the Environment and Forests’ Rejection of Application to Mine the Niyamgiri Hills in Odisha, India

In January 2014, India’s Minister of Environment and Forests (MEF) blocked an application by Vedanta Resources (Vedanta), a London-based mining company, to clear a forest area to mine for bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. The Dongria and Kutia tribes inhabit the areas surrounding the Niyamgiri hills and believe their god lives in the …   Continue readingIndian Minister of the Environment and Forests’ Rejection of Application to Mine the Niyamgiri Hills in Odisha, India