The oldest ethnic group in the United States received a new form of power.
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Our friends at the Sacred Fire Foundation who support people and projects to strengthen indigenous cultures around the world, sent us a wonderful announcement about their 2014 annual campaign. You can view their announcement here. We encourage you to support their work.
Their announcement included a link to a fabulous TEDx talk by Aleut Elder, Larry Merculieff, a 2012 Ancient Wisdom Rising presenter, teaching about this time in which "we have reversed the laws for living." See Larry's TEDx talk below.
Gratitude to the Sacred Fire Foundation and all the projects they support that are doing this important work.
Image source: Andre Penner, CTV news
RIGHT NOW, the world’s remaining rainforests are being cut down and replaced with palm oil and soybean plantations, and cattle ranches. Here’s an Action Alert from Friends of the Amazon. Please take the action they suggest to send a message to the President of Peru.
“Currently, scammers are cheating native Amazonians out of their land under the pretext of creating REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) projects. These unscrupulous businessmen have been termed "Carbon Cowboys." While they say that they want to protect the forest, what they really want is to get the land for free and cut down the forest and replace it with palm oil plantations. They lie and say that they are representatives of the United Nations and the World Bank and promise the communities "billions of dollars" from carbon offset credits. Using these tactics, they trick vulnerable and trusting people into signing unfair contracts with hidden clauses giving the scammers a power of attorney that essentially gives these conmen the forest for free, allowing them to harvest the timber and replace the native forest with monocultures of palm oil trees.”
The Peruvian government is pushing ahead with plans to expand gas operations in a supposedly protected reserve in the Amazon despite calls by the United Nations to suspend them.
The company leading the operations, Pluspetrol, moved one step closer to proceeding with the expansion of the Camisea gas project - Peru's biggest ever energy development - following a report by the vice-ministry of inter-culturality (VMI) last week.
Pluspetrol's plans include drilling 18 wells and conducting seismic tests in an 'intangible' reserve for indigenous peoples living in 'voluntary isolation' and 'initial contact'.
The reserve is also part of the buffer zone for the Manu national park, where Unesco says the biological diversity "exceeds that of any other place on Earth."
Pilar Cameno, from Peruvian NGO DAR, told the Guardian that the expansion could lead to "violent encounters" between gas project workers and indigenous peoples, "increased mortality rates", the loss of land and access to resources, and environmental contamination.
"The Peruvian state must heed the UN rapporteur's recommendations and implement them", Cameno says. "What's at stake here is the survival of the indigenous peoples in isolation and initial contact - not just as individuals, but as whole cultures."
Here's how you can help:
Article courtesy of The Guardian. Learn more here.
Images from Zoom's Edible Plants
EarthAction is honored to announce that the Sacred Fire Foundation has chosen to support The Elders Project—a project of EarthAction since 2009—in their special year-end fundraising campaign. Their goal is to raise $20,000 by midnight Dec. 3rd. Your donation will count 2x thanks to a generous donor. We hope you will find The Elders Project compelling, inspiring, and worthy of your support.
"Sometimes a project comes along that touches us so profoundly... on so
many levels...it is hard to find the words. This is that project."
- The Sacred Fire Foundation
Please read the information below and click on the ‘DONATE’ button which will take you to the Sacred Fire Foundation’s website where you can make a secure donation. Or, send them a check in the mail. We are grateful to The Elders Project, the Sacred Fire Foundation and to you.
As indigenous peoples celebrate today, they are calling on their governments to honor this commitment and are asking the international community for greater access to sources of aid funding.
In the northern Philippines, in Cordillera, indigenous peoples are feeling very betrayed by their government and foreign aid that did not support them in “their cause for self-determined and sustainable development” (Devex News).
“U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki Moon said: ‘we highlight the importance of honoring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between states, their citizens and indigenous peoples’” (Devex News).
Local indigenous groups have advocated for change to their government for years and in that time their demands in terms of development have not been met. Violations of indigenous rights have grown in this time and external groups continually dictate development and funding – indigenous peoples who cannot present basic requirements such as birth certificates or marriage contracts are excluded from these development projects.
Instead, donors should aid indigenous organizations in their building capacity and funding should go straight to these groups rather than to external forces so that indigenous populations can decided how to move forward with their own development.
On a day we are supposed to celebrate and include indigenous populations in decision-making, and on the 9th anniversary of this day, it is shocking that there is not more inclusion and there is a lot left to do to move forward.
Photo courtesy of Red Alliances Media (http://redalliances.com/2013/05/06/proud-to-be-indigenous-with-first-peoples-worldwide/)
The month of May was a fun and exciting time for indigenous peoples from all over the world as they were invited by the First Peoples Worldwide organization to take to social media and express what they love about being indigenous during Proud To Be Indigenous Week.
First Peoples Worldwide was founded in 1997 as a program that offers funding for local development projects in indiegnous communities worldwide. The work of this organization is particularly incredible because it is an indigenous-led organization that gives a voice to indigenous communities in solving today's challenges around climate change, food insecurity, among others. The organization is made up of head staff, a global network of board members, grantees, and practitioners that all represent diversity and solidarity in indigenous lifestyles.
The organization used the month of May as a way to include indigenous peoples from around the world in expressing that theye were proud to be indigenous. First Peoples received over 300 photos from 69 different indigenous communities across 33 countries with a campaign on Twitter that used the trending tags #Proud2BIndigenous and #P2BI. The photos are available on the organization's Facebook page.
In addition to the online campaign, First Peoples hosted several events in New York City, including a workshop led by the founder, Rebecca Adamson, on how corporations need to engage and work with indigenous communities because their voices need to be heard when the issues at hand concern these people.
Though the Proud To Be Indigenous week is over, submissions are welcome throughout the year!
For more information, visit First Peoples Worldwide.
Story thanks to Neva Morrison, First Peoples Worldwide managing director.
(Photo credits to © WWF-Canon / Carlos Drews)
Dear Mr. Wrobel,
It is so disheartening and insulting to any right-thinking Cameroonian, in particular, and African, more generally to learn that your company, Herakles Farms, is using rice and fish in the 21st century to bribe and seduce the indigenous people of Mundemba, Toko and Nguti sub-divisions in the Southwest Region of Cameroon in order to grab their ancestral lands for 99 years. Your so-called sustainable project will destroy the ecosystem of over 73,000 hectares of ancientrainforest and replace it with monoculture oil palm plantations. For this you’ll pay some 50 cents per hectare annual leasing fees.Read More
With a growing global demand for medicinal and aromatic plants, Nepal’s green economy could gain a lot of potential, especially in poor communities where these plants are harvested.
There are over 100 types of medicinal and aromatic plants that are harvested in Nepal and that are being traded in international markets, being exported at a value of $9.8 million in 2009.
“By harvesting these plants sustainably, and improving their value-added activity so collectors receive a fair share of the profits, the trade could contribute to social equity, environmental conservation and economic prosperity,” said UNEP Programme Officer Asad Naqvi.
Despite the opportunities for sustainable trade in medicinal and aromatic plants within the country, most of the value-added activity and quality control mechanisms are done outside. In the same way, trade is often restricted due to gaps in infrastructure.
The creation of a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication were among the themes endorsed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) last June.
It is important, especially now, to implement policies that protect the environment, policies that will also benefit the economic growth and prosperity of these countries.
Today, the United Nations and the Andean community of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru came together to launch the “International Year of Quinoa” in order to raise awareness of the nutritional, economic, environmental, and cultural values of the food. Quinoa has the potential to help with food security and reducing poverty for small farmers in the world, as well as ensure an environmentally sustainable agriculture.
“Many nations in South America are making strong progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goal,” Mr. Ban said, including by increasing food production, reducing poverty and increasing access to nutritious food like quinoa.
While adopting the resolution to honor quinoa with its own year, the UN body also gave recognition to the Andean indigenous peoples who have been cultivating more than half of the annual 70,000 tons of quinoa.
In the same way, because of its nutritional value, the price of quinoa has risen on the world market, making it more attractive to large companies.
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said combating hunger requires leadership from countries and strong support from the international community.
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