20061106

 

KEY REFERENCE FOR ACTORS IN ROC & Congo Basin countries: Towards A Regional Plan

**ESSENTIAL REFERENCE: As a private, neutral and independent research initiative, IPRB has no affiliation with any organization or particular interest beyond that of facilitating greater understanding and support of indigenous peoples in the Republic of Congo and the wider Congo Basin. Towards this end, IPRB seeks to facilitate access to key resources and it is in this spirit that this May 2006 document, "EVALUATION: STRENTHENING THE RIGHTS OF PYGMY PEOPLE IN CAMEROON, REPUBLIC OF CONGO, AND THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)" (written by Dr. Shoa Asfaha, an indepedent external consultant, published by the INGO Rainforest Foundation UK in partnership with local organizations OCDH, CED and CENADEP with the support of the Baring Foundation) is hereby identified as the single most important reference for actors in the Republic of Congo and the Congo Basin Region.

While there is no substitute for the process of reading, analysing, comparing and assimilating information from a range of sources, time is often a major constraint for policy makers and planners. Hence, IPRB identifies this document as the single most important reference for policy makers and program planners in the Republic of Congo and the Congo Basin. Specifically, actors who are concerned with supporting indigenous peoples may wish to consider how their approaches and programs can specifically compliment - rather than compete with - the initiative that is the subject of this report. This report presents not only an excellent and accurate analysis of the context of the Republic of Congo, but also sets forth compelling and well-reasoned recommendations that represent what is perhaps the best approach to programming to support indigenous people in the Congo Basin.

It is the opinion of IPRB that donors, international agencies and international organizations will be more effective in the stated goal of supporting indigenous communities if they are able to shift their focus away from their own narrow organizational mandates, interests and agendas (organization-centered), to instead look beyond their own institutions for positive models that show promise (outcome-centered).

While vigorous competition for limited funds is often encouraged by the way donors allocate aid resources and fosters a credit-grabbing and "me in the spotlight" culture, humanitarian and conservation actors are strongly encouraged to seek collaborative approaches by maintaining a focus on communities and realities in the field. This means having the ability to acknowledge something valuable and then working to actively support and compliment the initiative - even if it doesn't bear your organization's particular brand.

Finally, other actors may wish to note that the on-line publication of this Program Evaluation document reflects a level of transparency and accountability that serves as a positive model for all entities, agencies and organizations.

20061014

 

ROC: Report on CIB logging operation in Congo-Brazzaville

Published by Greenpeace International (August 2005): Excerpt from Greenpeace website: "...As a part of its global forest campaign, Greenpeace is increasing its activities in the Congo Basin, the 2nd largest rainforest area in the world. The logging (and related commercial poaching) of the remaining intact areas of these rainforests is a severe threat to the ecological integrity of the region...Rather than bringing sustainable development, the current industrial logging system has been for many decades a driving factor for environmental degradation, corruption, social conflicts and poverty. In this highly problematic political, social and economic context, Greenpeace does not support any further expansion of logging in the region. Without very drastic improvements in transparency and governance in general in the Congo Basin and in their forest sectors in particular, it is an illusion to hope that industrial logging will bring sustainable development. There currently are few indications that sufficient political will exists -- both in African States and at the international level -- to implement the reforms required..."

20061013

 

ROC: Activities and progress of CIB and WCS in working with indigenous communities - and other considerations

*Key reference for actors in the Republic of Congo. Highlights positive developments that could be used as models in other concessions. Overall, while logging activities are the core cause that drives displacement of indigneous peoples from their traditional lands, CIB is perhaps the most responsible private sector actor in the Congo Basin. While the human rights abuses by "ecoguards" have occured within the CIB concessions, this is largely the responsibility of WCS and its donors as the provision and training of "ecoguards" is a funded activity under WCS' grants and administration of the program is the responsibility of WCS. Naturally, to the extent human rights abuses have been perpetuated in the concession areas of CIB, it is evident that CIB should be concerned about the damage to its corporate reputation caused by such events.

Although WCS has publically acknowledged that the behaviours of its ecoguards is a matter of concern, its actions taken to correct and prevent futher abuses are either unpublished or otherwise not readily accessible as public information. WCS should recognize that as a recepient of public and private donors funds that it bears an elevated duty of accountability and transparency as a matter of principal and business sense. WCS should recognize that although USAID funding for conservation initiatives may be assured in the Congo Basin, private donors who wish to support wildlife conservation may not appreciate the fact that their funds also contribute to human rights violations against indigenous peoples and may seek out other organizations that take a more coherent approach to protection of ecosystems that genuinely seek to support - rather than pressure - what is an already extremely vulnerable population of which 2/3 are children. It will be interesting to note the position of WCS and WWF adopts in relation to the launch of a 2007 census and in-depth study of the impact of their programs on indigenous peoples - with a focus on indigenous children - in the Congo Basin, but given the increased international focus on the extreme marginalization of indigenous peoples - and Article 30 of the CRC - it would behoove these organizations to adopt a proactive position. Conservation organizations are well-financed, particularly in the Congo Basin, and the only reason for not routinely including timely information on their websites about their plans, strategies, approaches, activities and outcomes relevant to indigenous peoples is if none exist.

Conscientous and well-informed donors (which demographically represents the majority of private foundations and core supporters) are becoming more sophisticated in their use of ICT to gather information and have thus become more critical in their analysis of programs in developing portfolios. What both conservation and humanitarian organizations should realize is that well-heeled donors did not generally become wealthy by being stupid or by making poor investment decisions in their business lives. Key donors are less influenced by marketing initiatives and undocumented claims than by the existence of obvious gaps or black holes. As the strategies of human rights organizations evolve, one can expect that conservation actors that operate under public and private grants will be subject to closer scrutiny and "avoidence strategies" will be exploited to highlight what appears to be indifference and an organizational focus on income over questions of equity and responsiblility.

In a world where donors have a myriad of organizations to choose from, third sector actors will have to decide whether a myopic view of their particular interest is going to cut it with customers whose main concern is promoting a better world. Any way you slice it, most of these donors would prefer not to be confronted with the problem that their choice of organization represents a choice between saving a chimp or saving a child - particlarly where one is accomplished at the expense of another. If there is one key word that humanitarian and conservation organizations should assimilate into their lexicon is the word: Both. And as actions have always spoken louder than words, whether they really mean it is a simple matter of checking a website.

20061012

 

Gender: Apprendre par l'experience

*Best practice. Coherent planning concerning indigenous peoples must not only "target" indigenous women as passive beneficiaries, but should seek to actively engage women through culturally appropriate mechanisms early on in participatory design processes and throughout program monitoring and evaluation. Lessons learned about gender and the participation of women from the forestry sector are highly relevant to community development initiatives that concern food security, income generation, child survival, community health, education and access to justice. Excerpt from "La FAO et les groupements autochtones" par K. Andersson et H. Ortiz-Chour:

"...Durant les préparatifs du Congrès forestier pour l'Amérique centrale, le FTPP a reconnu que les femmes ne sont pas suffisamment représentées dans les groupements nationaux pour les consultations avec la CICAFOC. Afin de remédier à cette situation, le FTPP a demandé au CCRMDF d'organiser plusieurs consultations parallèles avec des groupements de femmes avec lesquels le FTPP collabore depuis cinq ans. Dix réunions locales ont été organisées avec la participation de plus de 500 femmes provenant de divers groupes ethniques, organisations locales et projets forestiers...Les femmes ont pu ainsi procéder à un échange d'expériences sur l'aménagement des forêts, les cultures, la médecine traditionnelle, la gestion de la faune l'artisanat, etc. En septembre 1995, en conjonction avec le Congrès forestier de San Pedro Sula, un atelier régional d'agricultrices et de groupements autochtones a permis aux femmes rurales d'exposer leurs priorités. Avec le soutien du FTPP, les participantes ont publié un document qui a été soumis au Congrès forestier...Les principales questions abordées ont porté sur la nécessité: *d'identifier des mécanismes officiels et officieux pour reconnaître le rôle des femmes en matière de production et de reproduction; *de réviser les politiques nationales pour garantir aux femmes le droit de posséder la terre et d'avoir accès au crédit et à l'assistance technique; *de revoir les programmes de formation en agroforesterie pour s'assurer qu'ils incluent la question du rôle particulier de chaque sexe; *d'encourager les projets forestiers à reconnaître les activités domestiques et le travail des femmes en général, et à soutenir leurs efforts pour réduire la violence domestique et institutionnelle..."

 

On sedentarization and other planning mistakes

***Excerpt from "Peuples forestiers des forêts humides d'Afrique Centrale: Les pygmées" Adaptation de S.A. Dembner: "...Le présent article décrit la vie des pygmées d'Afrique centrale et met en évidence leur relation avec les agriculteurs voisins, précieuse pour l'utilisation économique, sociale et durable des forêts humides. Il montre que le mode de vie nomade des peuples autochtones peut être compatible avec une exploitation durable des forêts et cela, plus souvent que les programmes de «sédentarisation». Les auteurs affirment que la diversité biologique existe en Afrique centrale du fait de l'habitation de ces régions par des hommes et que, si les humains sont exclus de vastes étendues forestières, l'actuelle diversité biologique ne sera pas conservée..."

 

Planning guidelines

*Key recommendations. Excerpt from "Forest peoples in the central African rain forest: focus on the pygmies" Adapted by S.A. Dembner.

"...Pygmies should be assured equal rights as full citizens of the state and assured equal access to services offered to other citizens. As governments take action to rectify violations of such basic human rights, they must take care not to seek justification for resettlement, sedentarization or other mechanisms for forced acculturation. For any development project, the relevant forest-dwelling people should be an integral and early part of the planning process. To increase forest people's input into development planning, local people's representatives (not necessarily 'elite' members) should be asked to participate in the early stages ot' project planning, and planners and consultants who know either the local tribal language or the regional dialects should be sought. In the forest areas of central Africa, tourism is only just beginning, but it is sure to grow with the creation of national parks and the growing popularity of eco and ethnotourism in the developed countries. If forest dwellers are made part of the formation of tourism strategies (rather than manipulated by those seeking profits), tourism can enhance cultural awareness and the knowledge of ethnic history while avoiding the people in a zoo' phenomenon. The participation of indigenous people will he crucial for maintaining the region's cultural and environmental integrity."

 

ROC: Distribution and settlement pattern of hunter-gatherers in Northwestern Congo

***Essential demographic information for Sangha. Excerpt from study by Hiroaki Sato, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine African Study Monographs, 13(4): 203-216 (December 1992): "...Abstract: This report describes the distribution, population and residential pattern of hunter-gatherers in the Sangha Region of northwestern Congo. The author identified five linguistic groups of hunter-gatherers: the Baka (Bangombe), Mikaya, Baluma, Bambenjele and Bakola. Almost all these groups in the study area built sedentary settlements along roads or on the banks of a river and tended their own field. They still engaged in hunter and considered to be hunters by themselves and by the neighboring farmers. in the Souanke District in the western part of the Region, 664 Baka lived in 15 settlements. The data on birth place suggest that the Bake in the area originally had a close relationship with the Baka in Cameroon. Some Baka informants said that there were a totoal of 22 Baka settlements in Sembe District in the center of the region. In the Mokeko District in the eastern part, the author confirmed 25 settlements and another 11 settlements were counted by the local informants. The inhabitants of these settlements included all five linguistic groups. Several cases of fission and fusion of Baka settlements with farmer villages in Souanke demonstrate the social-economic relationships between the two groups..."

 

ROC: Consolidated list of programs funded in the Republic of Congo

Excellent source of insight into strategies, priorities and allocation of resources in the Republic of Congo that illustrates how the dynamics of invisibility and marginalization of indigenous minority peoples extends also to access to aid and development assistance in the Republic of Congo. The failure of development to acknowledge and respond to this acutely vulnerable population should be understood as a factor that has increased the gap between dominant and minority groups. The state of indigenous peoples in the Republic of Congo stands as one of the best examples of how aid, relief and development schemes fail the poorest of the poor and is an accurate predictor of what we can realistically expect of the MDGs.

20061011

 

The GAP Project

*Recommended framework to address core challenges for actors in the Congo Basin. Excerpt from One World Trust website: "...The Global Accountability Project (GAP) is part of the Accountability Programme at the One World Trust which aims to generate wider commitment to the principles and values of accountability; increase the accountability of global organisations to those they affect; and strengthen the capacity of civil society to better engage in decision making processes...GAP was developed in 2001 with the aim of enhancing the accountability of decision making processes of inter-governmental organisations (IGOs), transnational corporations (TNCs) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) to the individuals and communities they affect. The GAP objectives are to: Develop an accountability framework that applies to IGOs, TNCs and INGOs; Assess the accountability of global organisations and advocate for specific reforms; Develop a network of individuals to promote learning around the issue of accountability in the IGO, TNC and INGO sectors; Facilitate and strengthen networking between individuals and organisations working on or advocating for accountability reform of global organisations. The project has two main components: 1) The GAP Framework, which can be used: to raise awareness and build consensus around what accountability means for different organisations and at different levels;
by stakeholder groups to advocate for accountability reforms of global organisations; by organisations, global or otherwise, to improve their own accountability; by the One World Trust to develop the Global Accountability Index and other internal projects. 2) The Global Accountability Index, generated by collecting information on organisations representative of the IGO, TNC and INGO sectors. The main objectives of the Index are to: identify specific areas for improvement within the accountability of the assessed organisations;
highlight best and worst accountability practices; develop a global perspective on accountability trends and challenges. A Global Accountability Report, Power without Accountability was published in 2003 as part of the pilot phase of GAP. It assessed and compared 18 organisations from the IGO, TNC and INGO sectors against their performance in terms of member control and access to on-line information, and had a positive impact on a number of organisations, which took active steps to increase their accountability. An Independent Advisory Panel oversees the mandate, strategy and activities of the Global Accountability Project..."

 

Instrument of change

"The Pygmies of the Great Lakes: An assessment of the Batwa/Bambuti Situation
in Burundi and Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Batwa/Bambuti Organisations in Bukavu (DRC) and Bujumbura (Burundi) " by Clemence Bideri and Hans Petter Hergum was published by Norwegian Church Aid's as part of its Occasional Series Papers. In many ways, this document represents a model instrument in: neutrality and expertise of researchers, research process and dialogue methodology, and utility of content that highlights local organization structures and capacity. A study such as this, supplemented with additional analysis of underlying economic and political dynamics, could serve as an information instrument of change upon which coherent policies and plans might be formed in other Congo Basin countries.

 

Remember Gender: rights and realities of indigenous women

Excerpt from report by Nancy Diamond "An Assessment of Gender Issues, Potential Impacts & Opportunities Under the New CARPE Strategic Objective" by Nancy Diamond (Final Report for USAID Africa Bureau): "...At this strategic juncture, CARPE core and partner staff have the opportunity to remedy previous
inattention to gender issues. Mainstreaming gender issues has many benefits for those trying to achieve sustainable conservation/NRM and gender equitable development. However, it is important to not just “add women and stir.” Simply adding a few women here and there or directing some support to an occasional women’s group or hiring one or two female staff is not enough. On the other hand, a female-focused strategy is no more likely to be no more successful
than a male-focused strategy. Gender mainstreaming means understanding the situation of both men and women and tailoring strategies to address these realities.

Deforestation and defaunation in the Congo Basin are complex livelihood-related behaviors with multiple stakeholders, including both women and men, urban and rural residents, commercial and subsistence actors and a plethora of ethnicities including the intertwined relationship between forest villagers and forest foragers.

As is, the proposed activities for the next phase of CARPE will have only an incidental positive affect on women. They are more likely to have a negative impact on women and the more vulnerable segments of society unless pro-active steps are taken by CARPE core and partner staff to understand gendered resource use, incentives, constraints and opportunities, including capacity building ones for professionals. .."

20061010

 

ROC: The Situation of the Pygmies in the Republic of Congo

*Published with the support of the Rainforest Foundation and OCDH, this report is an essential reference for actors in the Republic of Congo and the Congo Basin region. Highlights key themes and provides insight into natural openings for rights-based development organizations that seek to link provision of basic services (health, education, access to justice) to a core program strategy to address and mitigate the underlying factors that drive the displacement of indigenous peoples from their traditional areas.

 

The community's toolbox: The idea, methods and tools for participatory assessment, monitoring and evaluation in community forestry

*Hooray for FAO for this practical tool for practioners! In the Republic of Congo and throughout the Congo Basin, models and approaches to community participation in the forestry sector can - AND SHOULD - be adapted and applied to community development initiatives in "traditional" health and education sectors and are ESPECIALLY relevant in design, monitoring and evaluation phases of implementation. Capacity-building inputs to support local organizations understand, adapt and apply participatory approaches in working with indigenous communities should be viewed as a development priority in the Republic of Congo, second only to building the capacity of CSOs of indigenous peoples to represent themselves in accord with the right of self-determination and consistent with the underlying principles of rights-based development .

Excerpt from FAO document (1990): "...Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation (PAME) is an idea whose time has come. It offers new and promising ideas for sustainable and appropriate community forestry development...PAME "flips" the traditional "top-down" development approach to a "bottom-up" approach which encourages, supports and strengthens communities' existing abilities to identify their own needs, set their own objectives, and monitor and evaluate them... PAME approach focuses on the relationship between the beneficiaries and field staff and the beneficiaries and the community. It builds on two-way communication, clear messages, and a joint commitment to what "works" for the community...PAME is a combination of three interlinked parts: the IDEA, the METHODS and the TOOLS. While it may not always be possible to adopt the whole PAME approach in every project, it is possible to experiment with some activities to see if PAME works. Try it, adapt it, play with the ideas presented here, and observe the effects. Sustainable development can be built on the foundation that PAME sets out, especially when approached with the sense of adventure and creativity that is called for by new ways of thinking!...

In the past twenty years Community Forestry has gone through two very definite stages, and is now entering a third stage. In the first stage, outsiders made most of the decisions. They decided what the problems were, and how to solve them. They designed the project and set the project objectives and activities. They provided the necessary inputs, management, and then monitored and evaluated, to see that their objectives and activities had been achieved. The results were not encouraging. Community interest often decreased over time. Very seldom were activities continued by the community after the outsiders withdrew. It became clear that sustainability was not being achieved.

In the second stage, the outsiders still made most decisions, but they began to ask insiders more questions. Overall, the outsiders role was much like that in the first stage, except that studies of the community done by outsiders to help them establish the needs of the community, offered new insights into community preferences and motivation. The result was that outsiders began to realize that insiders knew a great deal. Insiders could often identify why activities had or hadn't worked.

Now entering the third stage, insiders - with support from outsiders - are active in decision making. Insiders identify their problems and the solutions. They set objectives and activities, monitor and evaluate progress to see these are being achieved, and continue to be relevant. Outsiders adopt a participatory approach, encouraging insiders to identify their own needs, set their own objectives, manage, monitor and evaluate the activities. The results are promising. The participatory approach has begun to show encouraging results. With time and experience, this approach will continue to develop methods and tools, which hold great potential for sustainable development. The Community's Toolbox describes some of the participatory methods and tools which can help field staff and communities to further develop this third stage....

 

Lessons Learned: Critique of the Global Environment Facility intervention framework

Excerpt from a report prepared for the Third GEF Assembly, Cape Town, August 2006 by the Forest Peoples Programme: "...For many years indigenous peoples and traditional communities have criticised large conservation projects supported by the GEF for being top-down interventions that violate
their rights and undermine their livelihoods. Many of these criticisms have now been vindicated in the recently published GEF evaluation study on Local Benefits in Global Environmental Programs (2006). The evaluation compiled by the GEF Evaluation Office confirms that in many medium-sized and full-size GEF projects: • Inadequate attention is given to poverty risks and the potential for negative social impacts • Affected communities are not involved in project design and preparation • The design is flawed due to defective participation and little understanding of local livelihoods • Traditional knowledge is often ignored or disregarded • Land tenure is often not addressed • Costs are imposed on indigenous peoples and local communities without adequate compensation
• Alternative livelihood and income generation activities often fail • Communities are sometimes impoverished and left worse off as a result of the project. The GEF Management response to the findings of the study accepts its main recommendations, but argues that the critical results of the study are based largely on an old sample of GEF projects, and that the GEF has since learned lessons on social issues and made improvements in more recent GEF-assisted biodiversity conservation activities. This briefing challenges this assertion and the complacency of the GEF reaction to the evaluation. The briefing (i) summarises some of the findings of the Local Benefits Study;
(ii) pinpoints some gaps in the evaluation; (iii) highlights the weakness of the GEF Management Response and; (iv) makes recommendations for essential GEF reforms to address the critical issues raised by this important review of local benefits. It is recommended that the GEF urgently: • Comply with CBD COP8 guidance to review and revise its policies in relation to protected areas and indigenous peoples and local communities, with their full and effective participation • Involve indigenous experts and representatives in the ongoing revision of the GEF project cycle review criteria • Adopt a rights-based approach to conservation and development • Develop and implement policies on indigenous peoples, land tenure and resettlement, including standards to respect the right to free and prior informed consent and secure land and territorial rights – ensuring such standards are consistent with the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples • Establish GEF oversight and accountability mechanisms for its projects and programmes independent of its implementing agencies.."

 

La Societe Financiere Internationale, les banques signataires des Principles d'Equateur et les organismes de crdit a l'exportation

Excerpt from "Briefing sur les peuples autochtones et le financement prive de projets" par Forest Peoples Programme (August 2006):

"...Ce document jette un regard sur le financement international de projets du secteur privé provenant de trois sources différentes : la Société financière internationale (SFI), les banques signataires des Principes d’Équateur (BSPE) et les organismes de crédit à l’exportation (OCE). En 2006, ces institutions ont adopté ou sont en voie d’adopter de nouvelles normes politiques à l’égard des peuples autochtones. La SFI fait partie du Groupe de la Banque mondiale et a, jusqu’à tout récemment, eu recours aux politiques de la Banque mondiale concernant les peuples autochtones et autres questions. Le 1er mai 2006, de nouvelles politiques de la SFI spécifiques au secteur privé sont entrées en vigueur, y compris un nouvel instrument relatif aux peuples autochtones.1 Les BSPE sont 41 grandes banques commerciales qui ont signé un ensemble de normes environnementales et sociales, connues sous le nom de Principes
d’Équateur.2 Ces principes sont fondés sur les politiques utilisées par la SFI et ont été récemmement mis à jour pour être compatibles avec les nouvelles politiques de la SFI. Les OCE sont des organes nationaux contrôlés et gérés par la plupart des pays industrialisés qui accordent des prêts et des crédits à l’exportation à leurs propres entreprises nationales afin de financer leurs opérations à l’étranger. La plupart des OCE se réunissent à la fin mai 2006 pour
discuter s’ils adopteront et appliqueront à leurs projets les nouvelles normes de la SFI. Étant donné que les nouvelles politiques de la SFI seront également utilisées par les BSPE et éventuellement les OCE, ce document se concentrera principalement sur ces politiques, particulièrement celles qui touchent les peuples autochtones , et en offrira un résumé. Une analyse plus approfondie des nouvelles normes de la SFI sera disponible plus tard cette année.

Les activités financées par ces institutions affectent de plus en plus les peuples autochtones et il se pourrait bien qu’elles aient actuellement une incidence plus importante sur les territoires, moyens de subsistance et cultures des peuples autochtones que le financement public octroyé par les banques multilatérales de développement. Mis ensemble, la SFI, les BSPE et les OCE fournissent la majeure partie du financement privé de projets dans le monde entier. Les BSPE ont apporté à elles seules 125 milliards US $ en investissement étranger direct en 2005 et on estime que les OCE appuient deux fois plus de projets pétroliers, gaziers et miniers que toutes les banques multilatérales de développement mises ensemble. En plus de financer leurs propres projets, ces organes cofinancent souvent des projets, y compris ceux qui sont financés en partie par des organismes du secteur public, tels que la Banque mondiale et les organismes de développement bilatéraux. En fait, il est de plus en plus courant que le financement de projets provienne de sources diverses et il est donc important de savoir qui sont ces différents acteurs et ce qu’exigent leurs politiques, s’ils en ont une, concernant les peuples autochtones. De plus, les sociétés obtiennent souvent du financement de la SFI, des BSPE et des OCE et sont, en principe, tenues de se conformer à leurs politiques. Par exemple, l’oléoduc Tchad-Cameroun est un projet de 3,7 milliards US $ financé par la Banque mondiale, la SFI, plusieurs OCE et banques commerciales, et impliquant trois sociétés principales..."

20061009

 

The requirements of a practical forest management plan for natural tropical African production forests

Report by ADIE/ATIBT (2005). Provides valuable insight into the approach of some private sector forestry actors. This report represents a level of analysis about community dynamics and participation that is more relevant and advanced than that of many NGOs and international agencies. While it is unknown to what extent this report correlates with actual forestry practices in working with communities, the report itself highlights positive entry points for establishing multi-stakeholder dialogue between logging companies, conservation groups and humanitarian and human rights organizations.

 

ROC: Legal clinics

*Possible model? Could rural legal clinics - with community outreach services - promote access to justice for indigenous peoples, particularly indigenous women? Excerpt from UNDP/Japan Women in Development Fund: "...Legal Clinics to Promote Respect for Women’s Rights: Women are spreading the good news. This is especially crucial for the other dimension of the UNDP-JWIDF-funded initiative: the creation of legal clinics for victims of violence and discrimination. The Association of Congolese Women Legal Professionals helped to set up two legal clinics and staffed them with lawyers and paralegals ready to provide free consultation services. The clinics, which conduct regular information sessions on civil rights, also serve as safe houses for victims of physical violence..."

 

UNDP: A Policy of Engagement

Excerpt from UNDP's website, Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Does UNDP have a policy of engagement with indigenous peoples?

A: UNDP and Indigenous Peoples: A Policy of Engagement (2001) provides UNDP staff with a framework to guide their work in building sustainable partnerships with indigenous peoples and their organizations. It sets out the critical issues for UNDP support; the priority areas of engagement; the principal objectives for an effective partnership; and the main principles guiding the relationship with indigenous peoples. For more information visit the policies and procedures page.

Q: What are the indigenous issues for UNDP support?

A: In the UNDP consultation process, representatives of indigenous peoples’ organizations (IPOs) identified the following areas for UNDP support.

Participation. Indigenous peoples seek participation and representation at all levels in decision-making processes, especially those that may affect their human, developmental and environmental rights.

Self-determination. Indigenous peoples look for assistance in the recognition of the right to self-determination as defined in the United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. By virtue of that right, they freely "determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” As clearly expressed in the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations Draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, self-determination shall not be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action that would impair the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent states.

Conflict prevention and peace-building. Indigenous peoples seek UNDP support in conflict prevention and peace-building strategies in addition to assisting in the rehabilitation and reintegration of displaced peoples.

Environment and sustainable development. Many indigenous peoples seek the recognition, support and development of sustainable communities based on their own cosmovision - a balance between land, nature, people and spirit.

Globalization. In addressing globalization, indigenous peoples urged that UNDP examine its effects on the livelihoods of indigenous peoples, especially with regard to food security, security of tenure, gender equity, intellectual and cultural property rights, and indigenous knowledge.

In recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights, needs, and aspirations UNDP has identified four priority areas of engagement. They are: democratic governance and human rights, poverty reduction, conflict prevention and peace-building, and environment and sustainable development.

Q: Are there examples of UNDP projects involving indigenous peoples?

A: Please see the matrix of UNDP Projects with indigenous peoples.

------------------------------------------------------------
Bonus Question:

Q: What has UNDP in the Republic of Congo done to address the issue of the continuing pressures of economic displacement of indigenous peoples and are its actions consistent with "A Policy of Engagement?"

 

Sensible analysis and relevant recommendations on MDGs and indigenous peoples

Ah, if only indigenous communities received a penny for every recommendation issued in their names! However, of the literally thousands of recommendations issued over the years, the 10 presented in this excerpt represent the most essential and practical steps that should be taken - together with an intelligent awareness of the heightened potential of unitended negative impacts. The only real criticisms are that: A) Number 10 should be expressly treated as the number 1 priority and should go further to emphasize the primacy of the right of self-determination. Not only should indigenous peoples be consulted, they should be regarded as full partners in all phases of the development process with the right to meaningful participation through self-representation mechansims that seek to address power disparities -and- B) Acknowledgement of the elevated risk of unitended negative impacts and specific multi-stakeholder mechanisms for analysis and mitigation should be made explict and incoroporated into the body of the recommendations. Other than that, the recommendations are highly relevant to the Congo Basin and aptly emphasize the need for agencies to get serious about addressing the needs of this highly vulnerable, difficult-to-reach population; data disaggregation, information sharing; gender analysis; and development of inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogues that provide access by indigenous peoples to the processes that affect them.

Excerpt from Statement of the Inter-Agency Support group on Indigenous Issues regarding Indigenous Peoples and the Millennium Development Goals: "...The Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues considers that indigenous and tribal peoples have the right to benefit from the Millennium Development Goals, and from other goals and aspirations contained in the Millennium Declaration, to the same extent as all others. However, as the 2005 review of the implementation of the MDGs nears, it appears from the available evidence that indigenous and tribal peoples are lagging behind other parts of the population in the achievement of the goals in most, if not all, the countries in which they live, and indigenous and tribal women commonly face additional gender-based disadvantages and discrimination...Detailed information and statistics describing their situation are often lacking, as was made clear during the International Workshop on Data Collection and Disaggregation for Indigenous Peoples held in January 2004 following approval by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Economic and Social Council. LACK OF ADEQUATE DISAGGREGATED DATA IS A PROBLEM for the achievement of the MDGs. Nevertheless, the information available – both statistics that do exist and experience acquired in the course of our work – indicates that these peoples RANK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SOCIAL INDICATORS IN VIRTUALLY EVERY RESPECT...Concern has also been expressed that the effort to meet the TARGETS LAID DOWN FOR THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MDGS COULD IN FACT HAVE HARMFUL EFFECTS ON INDIGENOUS AND TRIBAL PEOPLES, such as the acceleration of the loss of the lands and natural resources on which indigenous peoples’ livelihoods have traditionally depended or the displacement of indigenous peoples from those lands. Because the situation of indigenous and tribal peoples is often not reflected in statistics or is hidden by national averages, there is a concern that efforts to achieve the MDGs could in some cases have a negative impact on indigenous and tribal peoples, while national indicators apparently improve. While the MDGs carry a potential for assessing the major problems faced by indigenous peoples, the MDGs and the indicators for their achievement do not necessarily capture the specificities of indigenous and tribal peoples and their visions. Efforts are needed at the national, regional and international levels to achieve the MDGs with the full participation of indigenous communities – women and men -- and without interfering with their development paths and holistic understanding of their needs. Such efforts must take into account the multiple levels and sources of discrimination and exclusion that indigenous peoples face.

The Inter-Agency Support Group therefore makes the following recommendations:

1. There is a need to take the situation of indigenous and tribal peoples fully into account in the efforts of the international system to achieve the MDGs and the other aspirations of the Millennium Declaration.
2. The 2005 MDGs review should take explicitly into account the situation of indigenous and tribal peoples, when dealing with each and every goal, and not only on issues related to poverty.
3. It is important for each intergovernmental organization to continue to develop its sources of disaggregated data and information on indigenous and tribal peoples.
4. Agencies should collect and disseminate the pertinent information on a timely basis to demonstrate the specific situation of indigenous peoples in the process of implementing the MDGs.
5. The United Nations system should increase its commitment and attention to the gender dimensions of indigenous issues in the MDG process.
6. Each organization should ensure that indigenous and tribal peoples are consulted, including the participation of indigenous women and, as relevant, children and youth in formulating, implementing and assessing their programmes for the implementation of the Millennium Declaration and the achievement of the MDGs.
7. The CCA/UNDAF process should take full account of the situation of indigenous and tribal peoples; the role of the United Nations Country Teams in that respect is crucial.
8. States should ensure the inclusion of indigenous issues in their efforts to achieve the MDGs, and in development efforts more generally, and should include the situation of indigenous peoples in reporting on the implementation of the Goals.
9. States, international organizations and non-governmental organizations should promote national dialogues, including through the establishment of institutional frameworks, as appropriate, in order to bring together indigenous peoples’ perspectives and priorities for sustainable human development and their expectations regarding the MDGs. Indigenous peoples’ institutions and processes, where they exist, should be respected during these dialogues.
10. Partnerships at the international and national level should increase efforts to support and build on indigenous peoples’ articulation of their path of development and their full participation in the decision-making processes. They should make every effort to provide adequate funding, technical and institutional support and training to assist those development efforts articulated by indigenous peoples towards achieving the MDGs.

 

Physician heal thyself

While the dynamics that affect indigenous peoples are complex, the common denominator is discrimination, bias and stereotyping. Although the interests of actors are very different, the one thing that virtually every group shares is a readiness to substitute their own values, opinions and judgements for those of indigenous people in determining a course of action. Ironically, those actors that seek to promote "the best interests" of indigenous peoples are often just as guilty as logging companies and large institutions of perpetuating negative sterotypes and undermining the right of indigenous peoples to decide for themselves. Although humanitarian actors are in the position to establish best practices that place indigneous communities at the center of their programs, time and again local organizations, INGOs and international agencies design and implement programs without asking intended beneficiaries whether their initiatives are useful, desireable and responsive to priorities established by the community itself.

Most actors, in fact, develop strategies, design programs and implement activities without the foggiest notion what specific communities really want. As a result, most programs that "serve" indigenous communities do so through a process that continues to perpetuate descrimination and marginalization by sending the message: "We know whats best for you, so cooperate and be grateful for whatever you get." Although intentions may be good, processes that treat human beings as objects are intellectually dishonest and practically ineffective. Humanitarian organizations that value their own missions and mandates more than they value the genuine desires and aspirations of people do so because of what is the nearly universal human tendency to assume ones own values, beliefs and attitudes are also valid for others. Combined with power over resources, humanitarian organizations effectively place themselves above communities, substituting their desires and ideas for those of the people they are meant to serve. Because such actions are motivated by what is generally a sincere concern and desire to help, most humanitarian organizations have a difficult time recognizing their own processes and approaches as expressions of discriminatory attitudes.

Before actors can change discriminatory attitudes in society-at-large, they must - REPEAT: MUST - be willing to take a critical look inside their own shops and ask hard questions: How do we know what we think we know? Where are our blind spots? Does the composition of our staff reflect our commitment to indigneous peoples? Does our overall beneficiary profile represent the commitment to also serve indigenous peoples? Naturally, this can often be viewed as a threating exercise and many organizations will rush to explain why actions may not measure up to words. In working with indigenous peoples, excuses are common, but real understanding is extremely difficult.

The truth is that working with traditional forest-based hunter-gather populations is challenging, particularly since leaderships structures and decision-making processes are often unlike the structures and systems of most organizations. In a bid to work with communities, organizations have often insisted that traditional societies organize themselves in a way that better suits third-party actors, but these imposed leaderships structures not be consistent with actual social dynamics, traditions and belief systems of communities and can damage social fabric and compromise a communities existing coping strategies.

Humanitarian actors facing such dilemmas must learn to do so openly. Only by acknowledging our own deficiencies can we identify and analyse potential solutions in way that is objective and not reactive or defensive. One way to do this is by gaining a better understanding of the psyco-social dynamics of discrimination itself. The reference attached to this commentary does not speak specifically to discrimination and indigenous peoples and humanitarian actors - but provides an analysis of xenophobia and the role of media in changing public attitudes. As program managers open dialogue with staff members, it is sometimes more productive to address potentially challenging discussions in a way that does not directly confront, but provides a framework for understanding like processes. Xenophopia is in many ways the opposite of the the issues of "first peoples" but the underlying psychological component of discrimination is the same. This reference, which explores the role of media, not only provides information about a relevant mechanism for public advocacy, but can also gently encourage reflection about staff members' own attitudes in a way that is non-threatening.

20061008

 

A relevant programme framework at the UN level

Although the mandates of many UN agencies encompass indigneous peoples, UNESCO - at the international institutional level - appears to have developed the most mature, relevant and appropriate program frameworks (among the various UN agencies) insofar as community-centered approaches are acknowledged and appear to be the conceptual foundation of UNESCO's interventions. It is therefore unfortunate that, at the country office level, activities do not consistently correspond to what is a generally sound institutional approach. For example, in one country office in the Congo Basin, UNESCO as an agency is exceptionally well-positioned to respond to what is a dire need for multi-stakeholder dialogue and information-sharing mechanisms between community members, local organizations, other UN agencies, donors and governement in order to address the ongoing displacement of indigenous peoples that is driven by pressure from logging companies and large-scale, largely unmonitored conservation initiatives that limit access to traditional lands. In this case, UNESCO mandate and actual experience in supporting concrete activities such as community mapping could effectively bring indigenous peoples to the table, affirm and support community participation and at the same time provide actors with essential information to ensure their activities do not create additional pressures on what is an acutely vulnerable population. Instead, in this context of this country, UNESCO's primary focus has been to document, catelogue and archive material and social culture (focusing on dance and language) towards the aim of building an indigenous peoples museum in an area where the vast majority of indigenous peoples will never visit. While this may serve the interests of preserving "cultural heritage" of mankind, and in a vague way promotes public education and knowledge of indigenous culture, it frankly represents an initiative that is of little practical consequence for indigenous communities.

As one member of indigenous community once said, "our culture is dying, we are pushed of the land and so now you can put us behind glass as one of your cultural artifacts". In this case, it is unfortunate that where relevevant institutional frameworks and experience exist, UNESCO in this case has chosen to direct its resources in a way that suggests that the ultimate loss of indigenous peoples traditional ways of life in the Congo Basin is a forgone conclusion by regarding treating them of objects of academic study rather than as people who could sorely use well-placed supporting partners.

20061007

 

Health Situation of Women and Children in Central African Pygmy Peoples - May 2006

Excerpt of article by Dorothy Jackson of the Forest Peoples Programme (May 2006): "...Pygmy peoples’ health situation is changing due to changes in their traditional forest-based hunter-gatherer livelihoods and culture. Logging, farming, infrastructure projects and the creation of protected areas are restricting Pygmy peoples’ access to forest resources; many Pygmy groups are spending more time in road-side settlements, have closer contact with neighbouring ‘Bantu’ farming communities and are more involved in farming, wage labour and the cash economy. These changes are most pronounced in the Great Lakes region where most of the Twa communities have had to abandon a forest-based lifestyle, and have become landless and impoverished. Pygmy peoples’ health situation is also affected by the negative stereotyping, exclusion and subjugation they encounter from their neighbours and dominant society. This article looks at the way environmental and social factors impact on Pygmy women and children’s health, and the health of Pygmy communities in general..."

 

Protecting the Rights of Indigenous Children

"Protecting the Rights of Indigenous Children" is a report published by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Center. This non-technical report includes descriptions of interesting project models to protect and promote the rights and welfare of indigenous children around the world - a worthwhile general resource for any actor whose activities impact or affect indigenous peoples and their communities.

20061006

 

Health of Indigenous people in Africa

Essential and authoritative reference by Nyang’ori Ohenjo, Ruth Willis, Dorothy Jackson, Clive Nettleton, Kenneth Good, Benon Mugarura. Includes current statistics from credible sources (which are as rare as hen's teeth) and provides an analysis of health that is well-grounded in knowledge and understanding of social, policitical and economic factors that influence health of indigenous peoples in Central Africa. May be slow to open, but the article is a must-read for practitioners in all sectors.

 

Inter-community dynamics and changing settlement patterns

*Program design guideline. Excerpt from S. Bauchet report: "...all Pygmies have been closely associated with groups of agriculturalists for several centuries. For a long time, these relationships remained balanced, but they are a potential source of conflict and inequality in a context of social and economic crisis such as most equatorial countries are living through at present. It is absolutely essential to include these ancient relationships between Pygmies and agriculturalists in any development project aimed at Pygmies. To omit such a factor would necessarily lead to failure and serious disruption for those same people the project aims at helping...Breaking up these relationships as a pre-requirement to these projects may not be advisable, though many seem to think so. It would be much more appropriate to study projects that would include the duet "Pygmées -Grands Noirs", i.e. hunter-gatherer Pygmies and agriculturalists...Everywhere, (Pygmies) now tend to spend longer periods each year in a fixed settlement (often for up to 6 months), in villages near the roads. Being sedentary half of the year does not necessarily go together with the adoption of agriculture as the main food providing activity. On the contrary, the attraction of forest activities (hunting and gathering) is still the prime factor inducing mobility, and agriculture never provides more than supplements...Groups of Pygmies continue to rely on their exchanges with agriculturists rather than develop their own fields..."

 

The situation of indigenous peoples in tropical forests

Excerpt from report edited by Serge Bahuchet: "...The General Direction no. XI (Environment, Nuclear Security and Civil Protection) of the European Community Commission requested that a group of anthropologists from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Centre d'Anthropologie Culturelle) and the CNRS (Laboratoire des Langues et Civilisations à Tradition Orale, Paris) write up a report on the present situation of indigenous populations living in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon Basin (Brazil, Peru, Bolivia), Central Africa (Congo, Zaire, Gabon) and South-East Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New-Guinea).
This report was to present detailed information on matters such as : location, size and social organization of a population; political organization, interaction with the national administrative system and political representation; economic organization and subsistence strategies, looking at whether the latter are dependent on the rainforest or not; role in regional, national and international economy; social status, problems related to health and schooling; human rights and their application; contacts with non-indigenous populations; threats and pressures indigenous populations have to put up with and the risks involved.
The report is divided into three sections : 1) a summary presenting an overall picture of the interactions between man and rainforest, followed by recommendations; 2) a set of dossiers and geographical studies, presenting the different ethnic groups and their way of life for each geographical area (the Amazon Basin of South America, Equatorial Africa, and South-East Asia plus Papua New Guinea); 3) an atlas of 15 plates placing all the indigenous populations within their ecological context..." NB: What the report may lack in country-specific detail, it makes up for in scope and provides the reader immediate insight to the common challenges, patterns and themes that face indigenous communities world-wide.

 

Geography and populations

Census statistics are generally unavailable and/or outdated. This report includes population and geography information for Central Africa that has been disaggregated by country (including the Republic of Congo). Although the statistics are dated, this is one of the most comprehensive and reliable references available, particularly in light of the fact that its author is one of the leading authorities in field research on indigenous populations of Central Africa.

 

CARPE Strategic Plan FY 2003-2010

For organizations working with indigenous peoples in the Congo Basin, it is worthwhile to become familiar with USAID's CARPE program, as it directly impacts thousands of hectares of land in the Congo Basin and therefore encompases areas that have been used by indigenous peoples from time immemorial. Actors should be aware of the overall economic dynamics that inform the CARPE program and the multitude of stakeholder interests. Insofar as the scope of the CARPE program is far-reaching both in terms of implementation areas and time, it should be considered a key factor that will have a major influence the future of indigenous peoples in the Congo Basin. Although history will be the judge, actors should be aware that in the here and now, CARPE represents potential for either enormous good or its opposite. Although the program has not yet promoted a platform for open, collaborative relationships between humanitarian, human rights and conservation organizations, actors should anticipate that - like CARPE's gender component- the link between peoples, participation, program design will be better understood as outcomes and results are documented and disseminated in accord with best practice principles of program transparency and accountability. In the meantime, although no formal structural support exists of wide multi-disciplinary participation and information-sharing, actors in the field are encouraged to develop informal networks to ensure that both the interests of the forests, the animals and original peoples are addressed holistically - and without the harm that is inevitable when the interest of one is compromised for the sake of the other. Out of 11 implementation zones or "landscapes", 6 target forests areas of the Republic of Congo. The person responsible for coordinating CARPE program implementation is John Flynn at USAID/Kinshasa.

 

Assessment of NGOs in Central Africa: Case Studies in Cameroon, the Congo, Gabon and the Central African Republic

This study was prepared for the PVO-NGO/NRMS Project and the Biodiversity Support Program and its focus is principally conservation organizations. This highlights two key issues: Capacity and Accountability. What have been the outcomes of community development initiatives targeting indigenous peoples in protected areas? Have conservation organizations, with a core program focus on non-human species been successful in their efforts to meaningfully engage indigenous peoples in participatory processes? What development frameworks and models have proved successful? What lessons have been learned and how is knowledge being disseminated and shared to inform future programs? How accountable are conservation organizations to indigenous communities? What has worked, what hasn't and why? Who monitors and evaluates impacts on indigenous peoples? Is monitoring and evaluation neutral, independent and carried out in open recognition of what are inherent tensions in the goals to save wildlife and at the same time act in a way that is consistent with the best interests of people - as determined by people themselves? For donors, this document will provide insight into what are exceptionally high demands on organizational capacity and the need to assess and support capacity-building in a way that builds multi-disciplinary networks and promotes cooperative -rather than competitive - relationships between conservation and development actors.

 

Root causes and relevant conceptual frameworks

Excerpt from UNEP non-technical article highlights the connection between globalization, bio-diversity, sustainable management practices and traditional knowledge as a viable conceptual framework. Recommended for systems thinkers and "big picture" solution seekers.

 

Globalization, biological diversity and traditional knowledge

*Key theme. Excerpt from UNEP article: "...Nature’s secrets, locked away in the songs, stories, art and handicrafts of indigenous people, may be lost forever as a result of growing globalization, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is warning. Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP, said yesterday: ”The freeing up of markets around the world may well be the key to economic growth in rich and poor countries alike. But this must not happen at the expense of the thousands of indigenous cultures and their traditions”. “Indigenous peoples not only have a right to preserve their way of life. But they also hold vital knowledge on the animals and plants with which they live. Enshrined in their cultures and customs are also secrets of how to manage habitats and the land in environmentally friendly, sustainable, ways,” he said. Much of this knowledge is passed down from generation to generation orally, in art works or in the designs of handicrafts such as baskets, rather than being written down...losing a language and its cultural context is like burning a unique reference book of the natural world. “If these cultures disappear they and their intimate relationship with nature will be lost forever. We must do all we can to protect these people. If they disappear the world will be a poorer place,”...Studies estimate that there are 5,000 to 7,000 spoken languages in the world with 4,000 to 5,000 of these classed as indigenous...More than 2,500 are in danger of immediate extinction and many more are losing their link with the natural world. Around a third, or 32 per cent of the world’s spoken languages, are found in Asia; 30 per cent in Africa; 19 per cent in the Pacific; 15 per cent in the Americas and three per cent in Europe. The report also links a profusion of languages with a wealth of wildlife underscoring how native peoples have thrived on a rich natural environment and managed it for the benefit of animals and plants...Many native people have a vested interest in maintaining a wide variety and animals and plants in their area so they are not reliant on just one source of food. But encroachment by western-style civilization and its farming methods mean that many of these varieties, encouraged by tribal and native people, are fast disappearing along with their genetic diversity. It is increasing the threat of crop failures across the globe as a result of genetic uniformity in the world’s major crops. The report cites work by UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, England, and other researchers on the disappearance of diversity in common crops. In 1903 there were 13 known varieties of asparagus. By 1983 there was just one, or a decline of 97.8 per cent. There were 287 varieties of carrot in 1903 but this has fallen to just 21 or a fall of 92.7 per cent. Over 460 varieties of radish were known in 1903 but this has dropped to 27 or a decline of 94.2 per cent. Nearly 500 varieties of lettuce were catalogued at the turn of the century but this has fallen to 36...New sources of medicines may also be being lost as a result of the decline of indigenous languages, cultures and traditions. Many indigenous peoples have intimate, local, knowledge of plants, such as herbs, trees and flowers and parts of animals, and their use as medicines which in turn could give clues to new drugs for the west..."

 

Forest-centered peoples of Central Africa

Short FAO article based on two papers by S. Bahuchet (expert and leading authority in field-based research) et. al.. Article highlights central themes in program design relating to indigenous communities, specifically: Bantu-Pygmie relationships, mobility, natural resource sustainability, the high risk of "sedentarization" programmes and participation.

20061005

 

IRIN In-Depth Report: Minorities Under Siege

This OCHA/IRIN In-Depth report "Minorities Under Siege" (2006) provides and excellent overview of the key issues facing indigenous peoples in Central Africa. Although opening this PDF document is rather slow, it is probably the best comprehsive, non-technical resource available on-line.

20061004

 

ROC: Documentation of human rights violation and abuse

Field report documents specific cases of human rights abuses that characterize the experience of indigenous peoples in the Republic of Congo. Overall the report illustrates the profound social marginalization and "invisiblility" of indigenous peoples which should be recognized as primary factors of acute vulnerability.

 

ROC: Rapport Sommaire Les Droits des Peuples Autochtones en Republique du Congo

This 2006 summary report published by the Rainforest Foundation UK and OCDH provides an excellent overview of human rights issues and relevant law in the Republic of Congo (downloading may take a few minutes). A later report released in October 2006 entitled "Les Droits des Peuples Autochtones en Republique du Congo synthesizes the information in this document and is more comprehensive - unfortunately it was not yet published on-line (as of 15 October 2006). Information about how to obtain a copy of the final report can be obtained from OCDH in Brazzaville or Rainforest Foundation UK. In the interim, this reference remains the best on-line resource for a current overview of human rights, national law and normative legal frameworks relevant to indigenous peoples in the Republic of Congo.

20061002

 

Language and Education Rights for Indigenous Peoples: Maori Model

Excerpt: "...In recent and ongoing debates on democracy and representation, indigenous peoples have been at the forefront in arguing for recognition of their rights to greater self-determination within modern nation-states. These arguments are based on their particular status as indigenous peoples, historically colonised against their will. Much of the focus of indigenous claims to self-determination has been upon language and education. This paper explores the wider basis of indigenous claims in social and political theory, and within international law, and the controversial issues surrounding them. It examines these claims in particular relation to language and education and discusses, by way of example, the development of autonomous Maori language education initiatives in Aotearoa/New Zealand..."

 

ROC: World Bank: Education Program Description

*Essential resource for any actor working in the education sector in ROC. USD$2m earmarked for out of school youth and "pygmies". Indigenous children are specifically identified as direct beneficiaries of school infrastructure, materials. payment of school fees and uniforms and literacy programs for the parents of indigenous children. Implementation in partnership with UNESCO, UNICEF, IPHD and other organizations.

The program stipulates that "All these experiences will be closely monitored, in order to continue the identification of elements of success with the aim of developing a national strategy for youth at risk and pygmy children at the end of the project"

20061001

 

ROC: Summary Report on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Republic of Congo (June 2006)

*One of a series of excellent reports by OCDH (Observatoire Congolais des Droits de L'Homme), a local NGO working in partnership with the Rainforest Foundation of the UK. The OCDH/Rainforest Foundation series focusing on promotion of human rights of indigenous peoples is highly recommended, although many of the report are not yet available on-line.

 

IPACC - Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee

*Regional organization of indigenous peoples organizations

 

Implementation of international commitments on TFRK: Indigenous peoples' experiences in Central Africa

Comprehensive, well-founded and authoritative analysis of key issues by Dorothy Jackson/Forest Peoples Programme.

20060927

 

Cultural mapping and Indigenous Peoples


 

Community Options Analysis and Investment Tool (COAIT): Increasing analytical & institutional capacity in community-based natural resources management


 

Ethnicity and participatory development methods in Botswana


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