The Mindanao Bakwit Solidarity Mission: An International journey in defense of the displaced Banwaon and Ata Manobo
The Mission took place on March 8-9, 2015 mainly in Brgy. Balit, San Luis and prior to this in Brgy Nuevo Trabajo, San Luis, Agusan del Sur. The other leg of the Mission was at Talaingod, Davao del Norte on March 11-12 covering 31 communities of Brgy. Palma Gil and Dagohoy. It gathered at least 200 delegates from local, national and international human rights who expressed solidarity to the displaced Banwaon and Ata Manobo.
The Balit Mission was jointly organized by the Northern Mindanao and CARAGA formations of KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, KALUMBAY, KASALO, Asia Indigenous Peoples Network on Extractive Industries and Energy (AIPNEE). The Talaingod Mission was led by Solidarity Action Group for Indigenous People and Peasants (SAGIPP), Save Our Schools Network, PASAKA A confederation of Lumad organizations in Southern Mindanao Region and International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL). The simultaneous mission is coordinated by the Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao (KALUMARAN)
(Bakwit stands for “evacuation”).
The Balit Mission (Agusan del Sur)
The Southern Mindanao Mission
IPMSDL Statement during the April Interactive Dialogue from the post 2015 Process, New York
“Interactive Dialogue with stakeholders from the Post-2015 process (Major Groups and other Stakeholders) and Financing for Development process (civil society and business sector) Thursday, 23 April 2015, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, Conference Room 1”
I am Beverly Longid from the Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation and of the Indigenous Peoples constituency of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE). I come before you in this session to add the voices of 370 million Indigenous Peoples in the world.
We, Indigenous Peoples occupy barely a fourth of the earth’s surface. However, we serve as stewards to eighty percent (80%) of the world’s biodiversity. Today, more than ever, there is clear and present danger to our existence and the means to our living. Either we practice sustainability today or we all perish tomorrow. We either care for the Indigenous Peoples today or throw tomorrow’sworld into greater danger. This is our world, too.
Why then is there no clear reference to Indigenous Peoples in the text of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? We are saying, “Let’s leave no one behind”. However, we are leaving the Indigenous Peoples out of the said goals. The absence or non-reference to Indigenous Peoples excludes us from the achievement and monitoring of the SDGs.
More substantially, we are one with civil society and social movements in asserting that structural and systemic issues breed poverty, cause hunger, and foster inequality and injustice. Only by addressing these issues can we achieve genuinely sustainable and inclusive development. We demand people and planet before profits, socialized industry, agrarian reform, and respect for human rights. Initiatives that do not contribute to these demands are bound to fail.
Colonization and succeeding governments dispossessed us Indigenous Peoples. It appropriated more of our lands for dams, mines, logging and plantations; desecrated our culture and militarized our communities in the name of development and progress. Today, big corporations and banks exploit the greater majority of the world’s peoples and nations, the Indigenous Peoples included.
As a way forward, we reiterate our demand that the implementation and financing of SDGs, and its accompanying indicators should be consistent with human rights standards and international humanitarian laws. In our case, we assert the letter and spirit of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) that recognizes self-determination over our lands, our right to free prior informed consent, and prohibits any form of involuntary settlement.The World Conference of Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) last September, which is a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly, reiterated its commitment in achieving the ends of this Declaration.
Financing by international financial institutions often leads to human rights violations. These financial institutions and corporate bodies remain unaccountable as states continue to provide them support and protection. There is a dire lack of regulatory mechanisms for such financings to ensure accountability and development justice.
Mandatory transparency and accountability safeguards in compliance with human rights norms and standards putting people before profit should accompany private sector financing and public-private partnerships for sustainable development.
Indigenous concepts of ‘development’ are broader than financial frameworks. It includes collective decision-making, spiritual health, cultural values, and our role as ecosystem custodians.An overwhelming emphasis on finance as means of implementation is inappropriate for indigenous communities. There are myriad of indigenous survival activities (such as hunting, gathering, local agriculture) but are classified as non-economic without realizing its viability and sustainability.
We call on the Inter-Agency Expert Group on Indicators and concerned UN units for an effective and rightful engagement of Indigenous Peoples in the formulation of appropriate global indicators. These ensure the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ self-determined development, secures our rights over our land and territories, with advancement of our traditional wisdom and knowledge of sustainable management and development of lands and resources, and addresses our particular needs and circumstances on health, education and poverty alleviation.
The means of implementation should advance harmony with people and nature,and rather than a mechanism to reinforce private profits at the expense of nature and people’s survival. Heed the voices of Indigenous Peoples. Let us consider those recommendations, for our people, for our world, for our tomorrow.
IPMSDL Solidarity Message to the three Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Days
15 April 2015
The Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) extends its warmest greetings of solidarity to the Indigenous Peoples (IP) and their advocates in the Philippines as they gather for three events on April 16 to 25: in Occidental Mindoro for the Mangyan Day; in Davao City for Dumalongdong Mindanaw; and in the five provinces of the Cordillera for the Cordillera Day.
We are one with you in celebrating your victories and achievements, in paying tribute to our heroes and in forging stronger unity for the defense of land and resources, and for genuine self-determination and freedom.
The Mangyan communities of Mindoro — Hanunoo, Alangan, Gubatnon, Iraya, Buhid, Bangon, and Tadyawan – with a rich cultural heritage including the “Surat Mangyan” recognized by the United Nations as part of the “Memories of the World” is presently in danger of being buried by large foreign mining companies.
In Mindanao, the Lumads are under intensified attack by environmental plunder, exploitation of energy resources, militarization, and human rights violations.
In the Cordilleras, Indigenous Peoples confront similar issues. Lands and resources are plundered through large and destructive mining, capitalist energy projects, the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and imperialist control in agriculture.
In subservience to imperialist dictates, the Philippine government has long allowed the entry and operations of foreign large corporations. This has caused the forced displacement of indigenous communities, irreparable damage to the environment, and a string of grave human rights violations including massacres, extrajudicial killings, and other violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
You are not alone in your struggles. Indigenous Peoples also confront these issues in Asia and other parts of the world. Hence, we are one in your struggle and fully support the building of grassroots solidarity in your activities.
The IPMSDL, enjoins all Indigenous Peoples’ communities to heighten the struggle to protect our ancestral lands, life and culture; and advocates and international supporters to strengthen their solidarity in this struggle. Let us persevere in building our organizations and enhance our capacity to arouse, organize and mobilize. Let us expand our organizations and linkages to other platforms with similar objectives. Let us build higher unity to resist the ravages of imperialism and local reaction. Together, we emerge victorious in our struggles. Mabuhay!
Stop large scale mining explorations and applications!
Stop militarization of Indigenous Peoples communities!
Defend our land and national patrimony!
Assert our right to self-determination and national sovereignty!
Long live International solidarity!
Beverly L. Longid
Petition to save Henoko
Please sign Now!!
Joint Urgent Statement to stop the Construction of a New U.S. Military Base at Henoko, Okinawa
Dear friends and colleagues ,
We’ve launched online signature campaign for the o oppose the Construction of a New Military Base at Henoko and call on the Japanese Government to listen to the voices of Okinawan people and stop the construction.
Please sign the petition to save Henoko. We call for your support to demand. Signatures will be collected untill the April 12, 2015 and be submitted to the Government of Japan and U.S.
Please circulate it!!
Thank you for your supports!!.
Protect Henoko Ocean and its Coral Reefs Call on the Japanese Government to Listen to the Voice of Okinawan People and Stop Construction
Oura Bay in Henoko, Okinawa ?There are beautiful coral reefs that have formed over a long period of time.
A wide range of topography supports different ecosystems continuously exist in one place; mangrove forests, tidelands, seaglass beds, sandy areas, mud flats and coral reefs. The two rivers from “Yanbaru” forest run into this area also support rich marine ecosystem. Large colonies of blue coral (Heliopora coerulea）were recently discovered in this area and it is also known as dugong(Dugong dugon)’s northern habitat in the world, which is classified as critically endangered (IA) by the Japanese Ministry of Environment. These facts make it clear that this coastal area is extremely important for biodiversity. The coastal area of Henoko and Oura Bay is designated as “Assessment Rank I” according to the Guidelines on the Conservation of the Natural Environment of Okinawa Prefectural Government and is also on the list of Important Marine Areas in Japan selected by Japanese Ministry of Environment. Furthermore, it is a habitat for 5,300 marin!
e organisms, including 262 endangered species just to be confirmed.
At this very moment, Japanese government is forcing through a plan to build a new military base at Henoko coastal marine habitat with richness of biodiversity, and being destroying.
The Candidates opposed to build the new base were elected at the mayoral election at Nago City, the Nago City Council Election, the Okinawa Gubernatorial election and House of Representatives election last year. The voice of people in Okinawa, “Do not need new base in Henoko”, has been made clear through the results of these elections.
However, Prime Minister Abe has refused to even meet with Okinawa Governor Onaga who was elected by the people of Okinawa opposing to the building of the new base. This procedure of the Prime Minister is completely unacceptable action in term of the democratic country. The Governor is requesting a suspension of the construction works but he is being completely ignored.
74% of all US military bases located in Japan are concentrated in Okinawa, and 18% of the terrestrial area is occupied by US military bases. This situation in Okinawa violates the rights of citizens that are guaranteed by the Japanese constitution. It is extremely problematic that the opinion of the people is being ignored with unrespect for the environment, human rights and peace, and the construction forcibly going ahead.
The Japanese government restarted survey boring the sea bottom of some points at Henoko coastal area on March 12 towards to start the main construction work in August. Furthermore, work to construct a giant “temporary wharf” (maximum width 25 meters, length 300 meters) is going to build due to the reason of necessary survey. Also giant concrete blocks were dropped onto the sea bed, crushing corals and seaweed, and it has been observed affecting the rich coral reef ecosystem with no longer seen coming Dugong to feed since last September.
Many people in Okinawa and from all over Japan are gathering in Henoko, on the ocean and in front of the gates of Camp Schwab to protest against construction of the base every day.
We strongly oppose to construct new Henoko base in Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture, and demand suspend the construction of both Japanese and US governments to protect the precious ecosystem of Henoko, Oura coastal area based on the will of the people that has been made clear in Okinawa.
Friends of the Earth Japan
No Nukes Asia Forum Japan
Ramsar Network Japan
The Nature Conservation Society of Japan Greenpeace Japan Peace Boat Citizens against military bases in Churaumi and in Yanbaru Henoko Relay Henoko heno kichikensetsuwo yurusanai jikkoiinkai Peace News Citizens’ Council to Reform Public Works World Wide Fund for Nature Japan(WWF Japan) Save the Dugong Campaign Center(SDCC) Japan – US Citizens for OKINAWA Network(JUCON) Ichikawa Sanbanse wo Mamoru Kai Sanbanse no Ramsar Joyaku toroku wo Jitsugen suru Kai Citizens’ Network for Biological Diversity in Okinawa（BD）
Peace Philosophy Centre
Friends of the Earth U.S.
KOREA FEDERATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENTS(KFEM) Russian Social Ecological Union Friends of the Siberian Forests Centre for Environmental Justice Sahabat Alam Malaysia The Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan Pro Public Friends of the Earth Brisbane Pacific Environment PENGON-FoE Palestine Natuvernforbundet(Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature) Center for Biological Diversity Pro Natura / FoE Switzerland (As of March 25, 2015)
Online petition: Stop political vilification and harassment of human rights and,indigenous peoples’ rights defenders in Ifugao, Cordillera, Philippines