Global Land News Summaries April 22-28 2015

Global Land News Stories April 22-28, 2015

04.22.2015 – India: Modi’s Economic Reforms Agenda in India Hits Biggest Roadblock: Land Forbes The Narendra Modi government is trying to push through Parliament a key, new land acquisition bill, on which rides its economic reforms agenda. But the Congress-led opposition is determinedly blockading it and last week Congress’ Rahul Gandhi, heir apparent to the party’s president Sonia Gandhi (his mother), told a farmers’ rally that the bill was “anti-farmer.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/saritharai/2015/04/22/modis-economic-reforms-agenda-in-india-hits-biggest-roadblock-land/

04.22.2015 – Philippines: ARMM to hold Confab for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Republic of the Philippines, Philippines Information Agency The Department of Agrarian Reform in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DAR-ARMM) is set to hold a conference in each of the five component provinces of the region to help identify assistance needed by agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) and tackle unresolved issues on land distribution. http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/1521429616210/armm-to-hold-confab-for-agrarian-reform-beneficiaries

04.22.2015 – Australia: UN Forum Backs Fight Against Closure of Remote Aboriginal Communities in Western Australia The Guardian The United Nations permanent forum on indigenous issues has supported a submission by the Kimberley Land Council condemning the proposed closure of up to 150 remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/apr/23/un-forum-backs-fight-against-closure-of-remote-aboriginal-communities-in-wa

04.22.2015 – Australia: Indigenous Heritage Site Safe After Miner Drops Plans to Drill for Gas The Guardian Mantle Mining has retreated from plans to drill for gas at one of Australia’s oldest Indigenous heritage sites, prompting celebrations among traditional landholders. http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/apr/22/indigenous-heritage-site-safe-after-miner-drops-plans-to-drill-for-gas

04.22.2015 – Jamaica: Government to Reclaim Farm Lands The Gleaner The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries yesterday served notice that it is serious about reclaiming and retaining large tracts of arable Crown lands which it intends to put back into agricultural production. http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20150422/government-reclaim-farm-lands

04.22.2015 – Belize: Major Land Rights Victory for Maya Q’eqchi and Mopan of Southern Belize Grassroots International The Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize’s highest appellant court, ruled that the Maya Indigenous People of southern Belize have rights to lands they have customarily used and occupied. The Court affirmed that these traditional land rights constitute property within the meaning of the provisions of the Belize Constitution that generally protect property free from discrimination. http://www.grassrootsonline.org/news/blog/major-land-rights-victory-maya-q’eqchi-and-mopan-southern-belize#.VTfZr4rnWoE.email

04.22.2015 – Canada: Awaiting Justice: Indigenous Resistance in the Tar Sands of Canada Open Democracy Indigenous people, including members of the Nation of the Lubicon Cree, participated in rallies across Canada on April 11, 2015 demanding climate action and expressing concern over Bill C-51. https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/melina-loubicanmassimo/awaiting-justice-–-indigenous-resistance-to-tar-sand-development-in-cana

04.23.2015 – Liberia: A Closer Look at Alternative Land Dispute Resolution (ADLR) Systems AllAfrica An overview of non-court related forms of conflict resolution over community land in Liberia, including negotiation, facilitated problem-solving negotiations, independent third-party mediation, and advisory decision-making. http://allafrica.com/stories/201504240687.html

04.23.2015 – Indonesia: In Mataram Declaration, Belated Recognition of Indigenous Rights Jakarta Globe Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar made the so-called Mataram Declaration last weekend in a belated response to a May 2013 Constitutional Court ruling relinquishing the state’s default claims to forested areas settled and used by indigenous groups. http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/mataram-declaration-belated-recognition-indigenous-rights/

04.23.2015 – Malaysia: New Sarawak Forest Law Unfair to Natives, Says State PKR The Malaysian Insider Sarawak’s Forest Bill 2015 which the state legislature passed yesterday was slammed by state PKR chief Baru Bian, who said the requirement on publishing notifications on the extinguishment of native customary rights (NCR) land in local newspapers was “nonsensical and impractical” for indigenous people who lived in the remote interiors and who were illiterate. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/new-sarawak-forest-law-unfair-to-natives-says-state-pkr

04.23.2015 – Fiji: Indigenous Bai People of Fiji are Firmly in Control of their Lands Fiji Village Permanent Mission’s First Secretary, Gene Bai, advised the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that Fiji’s 2013 Constitution is consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. http://fijivillage.com/news/Indigenous-people-of-Fiji-are-firmly-in-control-of-their-destiny-Bai-9sk5r2/

04.23.20145– Belize: The Yes and No to Communal Land Rights The El Guardian For the first time since the argument began over the Maya Land rights in the courts there is public opposition to it. Led by Joseph Estephan as chairman of the newly formed National Mopan Maya Council over two hundred residents of the Toledo district made their way to Belize City to publicly state that they were not in agreement with the communal land. http://www.guardian.bz/all-politics/9398-the-yes-and-no-to-communal-land-rights

04.23.2015 – Brazil: Brazil’s Indigenous Groups Fight to Keep their Land in Face of New Law The Guardian PEC 215, a proposed amendment to Brazil’s constitution, threatens to make worse the already fragile plight of the country’s impoverished indigenous communities. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/23/brazils-indigenous-groups-battle-land-law-change

04.24.2015 – Kenya: New Plan Allows Ogiek Back to Public Forests AllAfrica The Ogiek and other indigenous communities will now be allowed back to forests for activities the government deems compatible with conservation in a new plan under the National Forest Programme. http://allafrica.com/stories/201504240453.html

04.24.2015 – Chile: Chile Government Signs Agreement to Benefit Aboriginal People Prensa Latina The Chilean Ministry of National Assets and the National Indigenous Development Corporation (CONADI) signed an agreement of collaboration that favors granting titles of dominions for free, speeds up the proceedings for the transference of fiscal estates, and grants indigenous communities access to real estate regularization programs. http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3742961&Itemid=1

04.24.2015 – United States: Native Americans Say Michigan DNR’s Land Transfer to Mining Company Violates 1836 Treaty Inquisitr The Michigan Department of National Resources (DNR) announced the sale of public land in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula after a judge dismissed an injunction by a group of Native American tribes, which cited the sale violated an 1836 treaty. http://www.inquisitr.com/2036040/native-americans-say-michigan-dnrs-land-transfer-to-mining-company-violates-1836-treaty-judge-denies-their-injunction/

04.25.2015 – Tanzania: End Court Case to Allow Bagamoyo EcoEnergy Projects Take Off IPP Media Agro EcoEnergy Executive Chairman Per Carstedt has refuted recent claims published by a Guardian correspondent claiming land grabbing by his company in Bagamoyo to pave way for a sugar plantation saying information from the ministry says the land in question was given to them by the government and had no customary title deeds. http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=79703

04.25.2015 – Philippines: Mindanao Tribe Leaders Talk Peace, Ancestral Domain, Human Rights Bulatlat Among the issues raised on the ancestral domain of the indigenous peoples is the intrusion of big foreign companies into their lands as these companies expand plantations, logging and mining operations and hydropower plants. http://bulatlat.com/main/2015/04/25/mindanao-ip-leaders-talk-peace-ancestral-domain-human-rights/

04.25.2015 – United States: Power Struggle over Tribal Land Hits Green Bay Green Bay Press Gazette A jurisdictional checkerboard has emerged on Green Bay’s west side as the city and Oneida Tribe of Indians vie for authority over former reservation lands. http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/2015/04/25/green-bay-oneida-tribe-vie-control-reservation-land-west/26339759/

04.26.2015 – Guatemala: Maya Q’eqhi’ Families in Guatemala Demand Access to Land Upside Down World Over 400 families formed a peaceful encampment outside the National Palace in downtown Guatemala City last week asking for access to land, the resolution of agrarian conflicts, a stop to forced evictions and an end to the criminalization of community leaders. http://upsidedownworld.org/main/guatemala-archives-33/5302-maya-qeqchi-families-in-guatemala-demand-access-to-land

04.27.2015 – Paraguay: Unprecedented Jail Time for Government Minister Who Stole Indigenous Land Survival International Ruben Quesnel was acting director of Paraguay’s Indigenous Affairs Department (INDI) when he authorized the sale of 25,000 hectares of land which had previously been transferred to an Ayoreo Indian community. http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10762

04.28.2015 – China: Two Tibetans Arrested in Sangchu for Protesting Forced Land Grab Phayul Two Tibetans from Gengya nomadic village have been arrested and four others missing in Tibet’s Sangchu County, where protests by Tibetans against forced acquisition of grazing land for expansion of highway. http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?article=2+Tibetans+arrested+in+Sangchu+for+protesting+forced+landgrab&id=35996

04.28.2015 – Myanmar: Delayed Land-Use Forum Scheduled for June Myanmar Times A national forum to finalise a draft national land-use policy will be held in Nay Pyi Taw in June, an official involved in the process said yesterday, almost six months after originally planned. http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/14175-delayed-land-use-forum-scheduled-for-june.html

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Three latecomers to add:

04.25.2015 - Cambodia: Mapping Cambodia’s land concession LICADHO LICADHO is releasing its land concession dataset and renewing its call for the government to fully disclose all concessions. http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/land_concessions/

04.28.2015 - Mozambique: Peasants oppose the ProSavana agricultural project Lusa and GRAIN Peasants of Malema District, northern Mozambique, today criticised the alleged lack of clear information on ProSavana, an agritculture project of the governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan, targetting the country’s Nacala Corridor. http://farmlandgrab.org/24848

04.28.2015 - Cambodia: Villagers march to ask for foreign intervention in land dispute RFA Residents of a Cambodian village involved in a decade-old land dispute with the wife of a powerful government minister marched on Tuesday in the capital Phnom Penh to request foreign support for their case… http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/march-04282015151432.html