Search results for category: Land Rights

India: Land and life lost in Bihar 

On April 5, Belwanti Devi was shot to death during a protest in a Musahar colony in the heart of Bihar state capital, Patna. The protest was spurred by a land grab in a Musahar Dalit community where she lived with her family. Her family had lived there for more than a century when Jai Niwas Construction Company (or Amit Constructions) grabbed land located...

Chile: Anti-terror law used against Mapuche activists  

In late November 2011, Mapuche protesters in the southern region of Araucania once again clashed with Chilean police. They demonstrated against plans to build an airport on Mapuche land; police used tear gas against the demonstrators, who were blocking the highway. Earlier in January, the Santiago Court of Appeals had rejected the Mapuche claim and ruled that the airport project could go ahead. The...

Malaysia: Indigenous groups contest mega-dams in Sarawak 

Sarawak — a forested Malaysian state on the island of Borneo — is home to 2.5 million people and 40 indigenous groups. The rights of many of these groups are now under threat as three of China’s state-owned companies are helping to build as many as 51 controversial dams in Sarawak. These projects will displace large numbers of indigenous communities who lack the legal...

Burma: Dams feed ethnic conflict  

‘The soldiers came to my house and said, “Starting now you cannot grow on the farms near the river,” and I asked him back: “Why?” He gave the reason that they will build the dam in that area. They confiscated the land from my farm, it was about 18 acres.’  Molo villager facing eviction. On 30 September 2011, President Thein Sein announced an indefinite...

Australia: Aborigines halt Rio Tinto mining project  

The Jabiluka uranium deposit in the Northern Territory of Australia lies beneath the ancestral lands of the Mirarr Aboriginal people. The site is surrounded by, but not included in the Kakadu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The uranium deposit was discovered in the 1960s. In 1998 the Australian government granted Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), majority-owned by Rio Tinto, permission to begin...

DRC: Buela community at a disadvantage  

The Buela, a forest community in the Congo Basin, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, signed an agreement in 2011 with Sodefor (Société de Developpement Forestier), a subsidiary of Nordsudtimber, a Liechenstein-based company, to allow forest areas used by the community to be logged by the company. However, the process leading up to the signing was skewed in favour of the company. According to...

Iran: River diversion dries up Ahwazi Arab land 

In 2011, the World Health Organization declared that Ahwaz City, the capital of the Khuzestan governorate, was the most polluted city in the world, with high asthma levels among children and teenagers due to industrial waste and emissions. Industrial pollution has damaged the natural environment, and marshland biodiversity is so seriously threatened that migratory birds have left the area. The Bandar Iman petrochemical complex...

South East Asia: The campaign against destructive palm oil  

The rapid expansion of palm oil plantations in South East Asia is being driven by rising global demand for edible oils and bio-fuels. Thailand and the Philippines have a burgeoning palm oil industry, plantations have been established in Cambodia, and Vietnam is exploring the possibility of cashing in on this crop. Malaysia and Indonesia are the top producers of palm oil in the world,...

India: Adivasis fight mega-dams  

A new “powerhouse” is emerging in the frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh, north-eastern India. Public and private companies have proposed 168 massive dams, to produce 57,000 megawatts of hydropower, in this strategically important region, which borders Myanmar in the east, Bhutan in the west and China in the north. All of these dams are proposed for the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra...

Cambodia: Kuy people rally to save ‘our forest’ 

I am Mao Chanthoeun, a Kuy, from Chaom Svay Village near Prey Lang forest in Kampong Thom, Cambodia. I was born here about 30 years ago. My parents and grandparents were also born here. We’ve always been dependent on Prey Lang, which in Kuy means ‘our forest’. When I was young, the forest was large and thick. Prey Lang gave us food, medicines, and...

Gabon: Mining, dams and repression 

‘It’s fantastic, the forest, fantastic. There is peace, tranquillity, one breathes in the freshness - no pollution and it’s magnificent. If we destroy this forest, we will have aggression from everywhere that will reach the wider population’, Marc Ona Essangui, President of Brainforest and winner of the 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize. The small village of Mananga lies next to the Ivindo River in Ogooué-Ivindo province,...

Ethiopia: Forced displacement and ‘villagization' 

The Ethiopian government has forcibly relocated 70,000 indigenous people from the fertile Gambella region to free up land for commercial agriculture. Local activist Ojulu talked to Corinne Lennox about some of the effects of this so-called ‘villagization’ policy.One year after the villagization programme even those farmers who tried to do farming in the new places were not able to produce enough for the whole...

Uganda: Land injustice for the Basongora 

The Basongora are a pastoralist community that lived and occupied land in Kasese district, north of the Maramagambo forest in western Uganda. The Basongora rely on cattle-herding for their livelihoods. Under colonial rule, Basongora lost 90 per cent of their land between 1900 and 1955 to establish the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Basongora were evicted, their animals destroyed and huts torched, and no...

Thailand: Indigenous people penalised for carrying out traditional practices 

For decades, indigenous peoples have been forcibly evicted and relocated from their lands on grounds of national security, development and resource conservation. In the north, smaller mountain-dwelling ethnic groups, including Akha, Hmong, Karen, Lahu, Lisu and Mein, struggle to survive economically and culturally in the face of development projects, land-ownership issues and the influx of ethnic Thais. In July, officials at Kaeng Krachan National...

Film: State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2012 

Natural resource development projects such as logging and dams, oil and mineral extraction and large-scale agriculture have been successful in generating vast revenues across the globe. But at what cost to minorities and indigenous peoples?In its flagship annual publication, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2012, Minority Rights Group International documents hundreds of case studies about marginalized groups who have been adversely...

Thailand: Documentary film - jungle dwelling indigenous community threatened by influx of 'outsiders' 

Mani 2.0 is a 25-minute documentary about an indigenous jungle dwelling community, the Mani, of Southern Thailand, who are now facing challenges and influences from the 'outside' world. Watch the film on YouTube:Part1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXD0M3FhWKY&feature=g-upl Part2:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQJSg-pLgcQ&feature=relmfu...

China: Hard times for nomads in Tibet 

Across the grasslands of northern China, ethnic minority nomads are being systematically relocated into settled communities as part of a process known as "ecological migration." The government's ostensible goal is to restore degraded grasslands, but many believe this is a convenient way for the state to assert greater control over minority people and their territories, and to facilitate natural resource exploitation. Since the mid...

Colombia: San Juan community assert their rights  

In 2010, the Supreme Community Council of Alto San Juan ASOCASAN in Chocó, Colombia drew up their own community protocol, to assert their rights to govern their territories and natural resources according to their customary, national, and international rights and responsibilities. The community protocol provides an overview of the Alto San Juan’s history, and highlights their long standing relationship with their land and the...

State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2012 

Natural resource development projects such as logging and dams, oil and mineral extraction and large-scale agriculture have been successful in generating vast revenues across the globe. But at what cost to minorities and indigenous peoples?In its flagship annual publication, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2012, Minority Rights Group International documents hundreds of case studies about marginalized groups who have been adversely...

Madagascar: Rio Tinto’s history of human rights abuses 

In 2006 QIT Madagascar Minerals S.A (QMM), a joint venture between QIT Fer et Titane (Rio Tinto’s wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary) and the Government of Madagascar, began work on a new ilmenite mine in the Fort Dauphin area of the Anosy region of Madagascar. An estimated 6000 people, including many indigenous Antanosy, lived in villages in and around the area which was removed to make...


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