Join the Global Indigenous Peoples’ Days of Action on Energy on November 9 and 10, 2013!

POWER TO THE PEOPLE:  ASSERTING SELF DETERMINED ENERGY DEVELOPMENT FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Indigenous peoples join various organizations, groups and peoples worldwide in denouncing dirty and harmful, destructive and capitalist energy on the Global Month of Action on Energy from October 11 to November 11, 2013.

Approximately 370 million indigenous peoples occupy 20 percent of the earth’s territory, in areas of high biological diversity and rich natural resources, and where the world’s remaining forests are found. We indigenous peoples share an intrinsic relationship with our lands and territories which define our spiritual, cultural, social and economic well-being.  We nurture, defend and preserve our lands, territories and natural resources for use and enjoyment by our future generations. But while we are known as the historic stewards of the environment, we remain marginalized, and our lands and territories are continuously treated as commodities for profit without due recognition and respect of our inherent right to self-determination, self-determined sustainable development, and overall collective rights as indigenous peoples to our traditional lands, territories and resources.

Energy projects and extractive industries, often State-backed and corporate-controlled, are the top violators of indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, territories and resources as these also directly affect our culture and identity. Militarization of our territories or the deployments of State military troops in project areas worsens this situation, resulting in various types of human rights violations. All these essentially bear ethnocidal effects on indigenous peoples in different parts of the world.

We are also the least contributor to climate change but are among the most vulnerable on the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Our sustainable ways of living, traditional knowledge and practices, and cultural values are viable solutions to the climate crisis and alternative to the profit-driven development paradigm as proven through time.

We resist destructive and capitalist energy projects 

Energy systems are among the so-called development projects being imposed in our lands and territories – large dams and hydro-power projects, coal mining, oil extraction, natural gas, geothermal energy, nuclear power, among others. These bear grave impacts on us and the natural environment with which we depend on for our economic and socio-cultural survival. Thus, we are currently protesting the ongoing operations and proposed energy projects, like the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil, Mapithel Dam in Manipur, India; series of large dams along the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, and numerous large dams in Malaysia; dams and geothermal energy in the Philippines and other countries; tar sands in Canada; oil projects in Colombia, Ecuador, Nigeria, Myanmar, Indonesia; and many more.

A recent trend in the energy industry is an upsurge in so-called renewable energy projects that are implemented in our territories in the form of hydro-power, run-of-river, geothermal, solar, and wind energy projects. However, big corporations, governments and other independent power producers are the ones that own, control and manage these projects that serve primarily for their interests.  They outrightly manipulate our Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and plunder our natural resources.  An outstanding example of this is Chevron, a notorious US-owned energy company that operates globally, in its geothermal energy projects in the Cordillera, Philippines. Thus, for us indigenous peoples, renewable energy may not necessarily be clean, green, and beneficial to the people. It can lead to the plunder of our natural resources and land grabbing. Any “renewable energy” that is geared towards profit and result in the plunder of our territories and resources is unacceptable to us.

Energy is vital in fulfilling basic human needs and rights. However, the prevailing capitalist-driven and unsustainable energy system does not address indigenous peoples’ development, needs and rights. It poses threats to our existence. It also exacerbates the worsening climate crisis, being the largest and fastest growing contributor of Greenhouse Gas Emissions – 35% of all human GHG emissions come from the energy sector.

Our alternatives

For energy and development to be sustainable, viable and appropriate to indigenous peoples, it underpins the recognition and respect of our collective rights to our lands, territories, resources, and right of self determination, including Free, Prior and Informed Consent. It must empower and free us from poverty, injustice, marginalization, oppression and exploitation. It produces only what the people need, not for capitalist profit and greed. It must be socially equitable and just, in harmony with nature and Mother Earth, and responsible for the interest and welfare not only of the present but also of future generations. The following are some of our alternative proposals:

  • Community-owned and managed, clean and environment-friendly, and sustainable renewable energy systems, directly addressing basic needs of the people for food production and processing, lighting, cooking, communication, livelihood, light industry, and other basic energy needs. An example of this is micro-hydro power which is planned, designed, managed and controlled by an indigenous community through their community organization.
  • Power system and energy infrastructure appropriate to the needs, culture,  and condition of indigenous communities such as decentralized energy system
  • Promote a sustainable and self determined energy development for indigenous peoples and an alternative energy framework geared towards addressing peoples’ needs and not for profit
  • Energy systems that ensure equitable access for all people
  • Powering systems of production, distribution and consumption that are compatible with the limits of the planet and are aimed at meeting the needs of peoples rather than the relentless pursuit of profit

Join us in the Global IP Days of Action on Energy on November 9 and 10, 2013

On these significant dates, let us commemorate the legacy and martyrdom of indigenous peoples who bravely fought for our lands and territories like Ken Saro Wiwa, an indigenous activist, environmentalist and human rights defender of the Ogoni people of Ogoniland in Nigeria. Let us collectively demand the following:

  • Respect indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination, and to land, territories and resources
  • Uphold indigenous peoples’ self-determined and sustainable development
  • Respect and ensure genuine implementation of Free, Prior and Informed Consent
  • Stop the militarization of indigenous territories where energy projects and other extractive industries are found
  • Prosecute energy corporations and States responsible for violations of human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights
  • Stop the operations of destructive energy systems
  • Cancel new energy projects in indigenous lands and territories
  • Provide just compensation to affected indigenous communities
  • Reorient the capitalist energy system. Stop the commodification, privatization and deregulation of energy.
  • Repeal State laws and policies on the energy sector that are inconsistent with indigenous peoples rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and other international human rights standards

We urge you to do any one or more of the following:

  • Circulate statements to the public and the press/media
  • Send letters of concern to policy-makers
  • Post photos/qoutes/statements/messages via Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, websites, other social media
  • Organize press interviews/conferences
  • Hold protest actions
  • Hold public fora, community discussions, other educational activities
  • Establish campaign and advocacy networks and alliances on indigenous peoples issues on energy

For a coordinated action, please inform us through the address below of any activity you intend to do during the  Global IP Days of Action on Energy.

Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) Secretariat. Email: ipmsdl@gmail.com, cpa@cpaphils.org. Telephone: +63 74 3044239. Fax: +63 74 443 7159.

The Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) is a global movement of grassroots-based indigenous peoples organizations, communities and advocates to defend our inherent rights to land, life, self-determination, for liberation from State oppression and human rights violations, and for social justice.

IPMSDL Co-organizes Indigenous Peoples’ Workshop on Aid and Development Effectiveness in Alta, Norway

June 12, 2013, Alta, Norway – The Indigenous Peoples’ Workshop on Aid and Development Effectiveness, a side event of the Global Indigenous Peoples’ Preparatory Conference on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples was successfully held in Alta, Norway on June 12, 2013. Around 40 Indigenous Peoples from various countries attended the said event initiated by the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL). This side event is the third of a series of workshops successfully conducted starting April this year regarding indigenous peoples, and the Aid and Development Effectiveness. The first one was held in Baguio City, Philippines and the second was held during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.

The participants to the side event showed their interest on the presentations of the speakers as they also raised their concerns and experiences on their own engagements in aid and development processes. Mr. Antonio Tujan Jr. of the IBON International and the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness presented the over-view on Effectiveness in Development Cooperation. Ms. Joan Carling, the secretary general of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact discussed the concrete experiences and engagement of the Indigenous Peoples in Asia in accessing Official Development Assistance ODA and other Development Aid. On the other hand, Mr. Legborsi Saro Pyagbara of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) from Nigeria focused on the actual experiences and lessons of indigenous peoples in Africa in relation to the topic. Ms. Anne Nuorgam, the Vice President of the Saami Council and Ragnhild Nystad, the president of the Mama Sara Education Foundation for Maasai Children graced the event with their presence and even shared their work in providing development aid to Indigenous Peoples of the developing countries. The speakers encourage the Indigenous Peoples to familiarize themselves on Aid and Development Effectiveness to actively engage on its discourses and processes.

“Indigenous Peoples should engage in Aid and development effectiveness discourses, but it should be based on our self-determined and sustainable development. In order to build a stronger and productive partnership with the CSOs on this discourses and processes, they should be continuously educated on the Indigenous Peoples’ concrete concerns and situations,” said Mr. Windel Bolinget, IPMSDL Spokesperson and Cordillera Peoples Alliance Chairperson, who was moderating the side event.

Together with IPMSDL, the side event was co-organized by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), and the Saami Council of Norway.

June 12, is also the last day of the Global Indigenous Peoples’ Preparatory Meeting on WCIP where in the Alta outcome document, crafted by the Indigenous Peoples themselves was affirmed by the 600 Indigenous Peoples present in the meeting in Alta, Norway. The rights of Indigenous Peoples to development cooperation aid was incorporated in this document which will be submitted to the United Nations High Level Plenary Meeting, known as the WCIP, in September 2014 in New York.#

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Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) participates in Alta Conference 2013

IPMSDL Spokesperson Mr. Windel Bolinget delivers a message during the plenary session of the Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference on the WCIP
IPMSDL Spokesperson Mr. Windel Bolinget delivers a message during the plenary session of the Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference on the WCIP

June 12, 2013, Alta, Norway – The Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) joined over 600 indigenous peoples worldwide that gathered here from June 10-12, 2013 for the Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) 2014, also known as the Alta Conference. Hosted by the Sami Parliament of Norway, the Alta Conference aims to provide a platform for indigenous peoples (IPs) to collectively discuss and unite on the issues and recommendations to the WCIP 2014.

The Alta Conference will result in an outcome document which will serve as the official statement and position of indigenous peoples worldwide that will be forwarded to the High Level Plenary Meeting, known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in September 2014 in New York.

“Among the current discourses at the international level that indigenous peoples have to engage is on development processes, particularly on Aid and Development Effectiveness that is closely linked to sustainable development and on the Post-2015 development agenda. It is important for Indigenous Peoples to participate in development discourses and processes as we have very limited access to development while we are among the most affected peoples on the projects where funding is directed,” said Mr. Windel Bolinget, IPMSDL Spokesperson and Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA).

In between official sessions of the Alta Conference, caucuses and side events were organized to discuss specific themes relevant to Indigenous Peoples. IPMSDL has organized a side event entitled Indigenous Peoples’ Workshop on Aid and Development Effectiveness to take place in the afternoon of June 12, 2013 at the Brattholmen, Finnmark University College, Alta. This side event is part of the series of workshops successfully conducted this year on Aid and Development Effectiveness. The first one was held in Baguio City, Philippines in April, and another activity was held as a side event during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Twelfth Session in New York in May. With IPMSDL, these activities are organized by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE). The Saami Council is co-organizing the side event in Alta, Norway, while Land is Life co-organized the side event during the UNPFII in New York.

On the first day of the conference on June 10, IPMSDL Secretariat member Ms. Marifel Macalanda of the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN) presented the experiences and perspectives of indigenous youth on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in a side event on Realization of the UNDRIP in Asia which was organized by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact.

On June 11, IPMSDL Spokesperson Mr. Bolinget, presented the experiences of IPs in the Philippines on business and human rights in during a side event entitled UN Guiding principles on business and human rights, Indigenous Peoples and business organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. The concerns raised in this side event were presented in the plenary session of the Alta Conference.

The IPMSDL is a global movement of grassroots-based indigenous peoples organizations, communities and advocates found in different parts of the world, that aims to fight for the recognition and respect of all our inherent rights as indigenous peoples to land, life, self-determination, liberation from State oppression and human rights violations, and social justice. CPA and APIYN currently compose the secretariat of IPMSDL.

IPMSDL members and other IP organizations who are participating in the Alta Conference will convene later today to discuss and unite on strategies in advancing urgent IP concerns on our self-determination as indigenous peoples such as the issue on development.#