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Rights defenders on the agenda at Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn

By IWGIA

June 21, 2019.- On 22-23 June 2019, rights holders and audiences from across the world will come together in Bonn to zoom in on the transformative role of rights and rights-based approaches for securing a more just, sustainable and prosperous future for all.

IWGIA will be present and co-host an event focusing on how we can mitigate the growing criminalisation of indigenous rights defenders.

Tackling growing threats against rights defenders

IWGIA is co-hosting one of the first events at this year’s Global Landscapes Forum, entitled: Defending nature together: Tackling growing threats against rights defenders.

During the session, representatives of indigenous and forest-dependent peoples will speak directly about the threats they face in defending their lands from encroachment.

Indigenous representatives and one representative from UN Environment will reflect on measures proposed or already being taken to address threats against indigenous and forest-dependent peoples and how to understand and fill remaining gaps.

The event will take place Saturday 22 June 2019 from 9:00 am to 10:30 am UCT+2 in Saal Maritim at the Maritim Hotel. Read more about the event here

Dire situation for indigenous peoples in India

IWGIA supports its partner Gladson Dungdung, who will be speaking on the current dangers indigenous peoples in India are facing. Gladson is an indigenous rights defender from the Kharia Adivasi community in Jharkhand (India), who has come under attack several times because of his work fighting for indigenous peoples’ rights.

Around 1,5 million families are currently in the risk of being evicted from their homes as their claims to their land have been rejected under the Forest Act of 2006.

The affected 7,5 million people live in the wildlife centuries and national parks but also in the reserved, protected and village forests or near the forests. They often live there sustainably and have protected the forests long before these areas were declared parks and sanctuaries.

However, the Supreme Court of India recently ordered their eviction of the areas before its next hearing the 24th of July 2019, but this decision has been postponed until the hearing.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has proposed amendments to the Indian Forest Act of 1927 by a new Act called the Forest Act of 2019. In this Act the state governments can declare any forest as a reserved forest, forest guards are given absolute power to shoot anyone seen in the forest with bow-arrows or axes and the victims must get permission from the government to file a case against the perpetrators.

If this Act is enforced, the entire community of around 90 million Indigenous peoples, who depend on the forest for their survival, will be affected.

Read more about the case here

What is the Global Landscapes Forum?

The first Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) event took place alongside to 2013 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 19) in Warsaw, Poland. Today, it is the largest knowledge-led platform on sustainable land use.

Since 2013, over 3,900 organizations and 150,000 people have taken part in Forum events in person and online. It is led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and is based in Bonn.

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Source: https://iwgia.org/en/news/3348-rights-defenders-agenda-glf
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