Indigenous Peoples' Heroes and Martyrs in Asia

Asia is home to 2/3 of the world’s 370 million indigenous peoples. They share a common situation with other indigenous peoples in other parts of the world –they are part of the most marginalized and discriminated. Based on Human Development index (HDI), indigenous peoples are overrepresented among the poor,illiterate, malnourished and stunted. This is largely due to historical injustices committed to indigenous peoples especially by states, and the continuing violation of their collective rights to their lands, territories and resources, the right to self-determination including on development concerns, and to their cultural diversity and dignity as distinct peoples.

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Indigenous Peoples’ Effective Engagement in REDD+ Processes in Philippines and Cambodia

The lessons learnt and the recommendations that came out from the study are highlighted below:

Lessons Learnt:

  • Early actions from government and NGOs can address negative and discriminating policies and mechanisms relating to the effective participation in the management of forest areas and in the benefit- sharing from the utilization of resources therein without waiting for a complete safeguards framework and guidelines to be approved.
  • There is heightened demand for information/orientation at all levels, thus creating the need for more Information Education Campaigns (IEC) to reach out to indigenous communities and various stakeholders. These include relevant government agencies
  • Capacity building is necessary in REDD+ national strategy and will only be effective if coupled with clear good governance measures for its implementation with the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities.
  • Partnerships are best delivered through a transparent and inclusive multi-stakeholders and multi-level participatory processes and these are stronger if built on partnerships and processes that have been proven to be effective.
  • Governments are not monolithic. Champions and allies in the promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples for REDD+ can be developed from their ranks.
  • There is a need to understand and enhance the linkages between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), forest governance frameworks in strengthening REDD+ relating to indigenous peoples, sustainable forest management, biodiversity enhancement and benefit-sharing.

Read more: Indigenous Peoples’ Effective Engagement in REDD+ Processes in Philippines and Cambodia

[New Comic book] The right to Self-determination and Development of Indigenous Peoples

Synopsis of the Comic Book

The world is becoming crowded, and there is a scramble for resources in the name of  "sustainable development”. Pressure is being put upon indigenous peoples and on their land and resources that they have inherited from their ancestors and are obliged to pass it on to the next generation for their collective survival. This comic provides a simplified overview of the problems faced by indigenous peoples, their rights and their contributions to sustainable development based on their distinct lifestyles and values. 

Click here to download the comic book


Briefing paper on Shifting Cultivation, Livelihood and Food Security: New and Old Challenges for Indigenous Peoples in Asia

Indigenous peoples across South and Southeast Asia depend fully and partly on shifting cultivation for their livelihood and food security.  2/3 of the estimated 370 million indigenous peoples are in Asia. These peoples are also known as ethnic minorities, tribal people, hill tribes, Adivasis, Janajati and aboriginal people. Shifting cultivation or rotational/ swidden farming is more than a century old sustainable land-use practice of indigenous peoples.

Shifting cultivation is probably one of the most misunderstood and thus controversial forms of land use. This is also know as rotational agriculture or swidden farming. What has been overstressed is the “ slash and burn” component, and the cultivation and fallow period are not fully acknowledge as good practices for biodiversity enhancement, food security and sustainable livelihoods for millions of indigenous peoples. Indigenous shifting cultivators are still widely neglected, criminalized and discriminated by policies and programmes of governments in most countries, and their land and resource rights are not recognized and protected. Likewise, rapid socio-economic and demographic  changes  are now taking place in indigenous territories, which are impacting on the practice of shifting cultivation, as well as to the food security and livelihoods of indigenous peoples.

Download this file (Briefing papper Shifting cultivation  2014.pdf)Briefing Paper on Shifting Cultivation[ ]17929 kB

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Paper on Indigenous Women and Climate Change

Out of the approximate 370 million of the total indigenous peoples in the world, 185 million are estimated to be women. Indigenous peoples are disproportionately suffering from a multi-fold of discrimination and oppression based on their ethnicity, location and economic status; rendering them part of the poorest of the poor, most politically disempowered and culturally and socially discriminated. In addition to this, indigenous women are suffering from triple discrimination; for being women, being indigenous and as indigenous women and are, subsequently, obstructed from exercising their rights.

Read more: Paper on Indigenous Women and Climate Change

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