Global Land News Summaries July 15 - 21

A collection of the week’s top land stories, including a New York Times article about pastoralists in China from the week before. Any reflections or comments @CGinsburg @ElizabethDonger @rachaelknight @krithikadinesh @lytteltonbraima ?

Global: Mounting Complaints put Wilmar under Scrutiny

July 21, 2015 Two years after Wilmar International set an ambitious drive to commit to zero-deforestation and protection of indigenous rights, its suppliers are still at the center of land disputes with indigenous communities in Asia and Africa, civil society groups reported earlier this month.

USA: Meet the Apache Activists Opening for Neil Young

July 21, 2015 …Pike is part of a cross-country caravan called the Apache Stronghold, made up of dozens of activists and supporters of the Arizona San Carlos Apache tribe who are calling out a mining industry land grab rammed through Congress last December….

Peru: Can farmers be forest custodians in the Amazon?

July 20, 2015 Peruvian smallholder farmers claim a lot of forest on land as theirs, but in reality, they have little or no formal rights to those forests. These non-indigenous smallholders are a poorly understood group, often left out of deliberations over forest policy.

Bangladesh: UNPO’s XII General Assembly Adopts Resolution on Chittagong Hill Tracts

July 17, 2015 On 3 July 2015, Mr Ushatan Talukder, Member of the Bangladeshi Parliament and representative of the Chittagong Hill Tracts to UNPO, presented a resolution to UNPO’s XII General Assembly, stressing the need for good governance and respect for human rights, as well as economic support for the highlanders, in line with the 1997 CHT Accord.

India: Odisha Land Ordinance to Hit Vulnerable Sections Hard

July 17, 2015 There is strong apprehension that the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Ordinance, 2015 will have far reaching implication on the Adivasis, Dalits, women, landless people and slum dwellers who have occupied Government land for their habitat and livelihood purposes. The ordinance has not differentiated the persons who have acquired the Government land for their mere sustenance and the persons who have grabbed huge patch of Government land to meet their greed.

### [Senegal: Airport Row Shows Land Right Tensions in West Africa]( July 16, 2015 …The demolitions come amid a bitter dispute over who owns the vast airport site, pitting the government against the local Lebou tribe who laid claim to the land before France colonized the narrow Dakar peninsula that juts into the Atlantic Ocean.

Myanmar: Karen Animists – “We want the right to live on our land and worship our Gods…”

July 16, 2015 The Burma Army forced them to leave their lands in 1997 and since then, separated from their lands and deities the villagers have lost many aspects of their Karen animist beliefs. Despite their displacement and living in fear and hardship five Karen villages in the Mutraw District have now begun to revive their traditional animist beliefs and practices.

Costa Rica: Abuses Against Indigenous People Reported

July 16, 2015 “Despite the passage of over four years and little in the way of fundamental changes, Costa Rica’s claims that it is a new government with a new vision and a programme of activities with indigenous peoples. The results, however, only can be summarized as dialogue. … there have been no concrete results on substantive issues.”

Brazil: Indigenous People in the Amazon – Crushed by the Belo Monte Dam?

July 16, 2015 Federal prosecutor Thais Santi announced that legal action would be taken “in the next few weeks” against Norte Energía, the company building the dam, on the argument that its initiatives to squelch indigenous resistance amount to ethnocide.

### [Zimbabwe: Women Sidelined in Land Ownership]( July 15, 2015 “Women have been sidelined in land ownership due to factors such as lack of access to capital, failure to get credit due to lack of collateral, customary impositions, and even lack of information on how they can acquire land and title deeds”

South Africa: Choosing Chiefs over the People

July 15, 2015 Traditional leaders claim that a new planning law, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, undermines their authority to manage communal land.

### [Zimbabwe: Proposing to Return a Select Number of Farms to White Landowners]( July 15, 2015 A decade and a half after the Zimbabwean government seized large swaths of land from white farmers in the country, President Robert Mugabe has tentatively declared that he will return certain properties to their original owners.

Brazil: Plans to open indigenous lands to industrial exploitation

July 15, 2015 The Brazilian Congress is currently considering a change to its constitution that would be a major blow for the recognition of indigenous rights in the country.

Malaysia: Long Pilah Folk want Illegal Logging in their NCR Land Solved

July 15, 2015 …the problem was worsening by the day with an estimated 100 hectares of their land already been logged. He said not only have the people lost their NCR lands, rubber trees and other crops to the logging company, the 500 villagers were also living in fear of being harassed.

China and Tibet: Government Fences In Nomads, and an Ancient Life Withers

July 11, 2015 The Chinese government is in the final stages of a 15-year-old campaign to settle the millions of pastoralists who once roamed China’s vast borderlands. By year’s end, Beijing claims it will have moved the remaining 1.2 million herders into towns that provide access to schools, electricity and modern health care.

:earth_asia: Find these are more at the Global Land News page :earth_americas: