Global Land News Summaries June 9 - June 16

Kenya: Evicted Indigenous Community Claims World Bank Money Helped Burn their Homes

June 16, 2015

Thousands of Kenyans have been forced out of their homes since the launch of a World Bank-financed forest conservation program in western Kenya’s Cherangani Hills. Human rights advocates claim government authorities have used the project as a vehicle for pushing indigenous peoples out of their ancestral forests.

Tanzania: Land Rights in Premier Tourist Parks

June 15, 2015

Filled with a ray of hope, Maasai pastoralists, neighbors to the Serengeti National Park and Loliondo Game Controlled Area in northern Tanzania, are fighting back over their rights on wildlife rich pasturelands.

Ethiopia: The Lesser Known Story of India’s Role in Ethiopian Land Grabs

June 15, 2015

It’s not just western corporations that are moving into large-scale agribusiness in Ethiopia, writes Mohammad Amir Anwar. Indian investors have acquired rights to some 6,000 sq.km of land much of it in the ecologically sensitive Gambela region, where unconsulted Nuer and Anuak peoples are suffering from forest clearance.

Philippines: No Let Up on Tribesmen Fight for Identity and Territory

June 14, 2015

The Tedurays along with other Philippine tribesmen have continued their fight for identity and territory under the proposed new Bangsamoro territory in Mindanao.

South Africa: Khoi, San Leaders Want Say in New Law

June 14, 2015

Restitution for Khoi and San descendants should speak to how they were disowned and the government must take the views of Khoi and San communities and leaders into account when crafting exceptions to land restitution legislation.

Uganda: Batwa Resettlement Fund Gets Shs 30 Million

June 12, 2015

A special fund has been set up as a result of concerted effort by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and its partners to help the Batwa community. Until 1992, the Batwa occupied Mgahinga, Bwindi and other forested areas within the Virunga massif. They depended on the forest products for their livelihoods.

South Africa: Leaders smoked out in land conflict

June 12, 2015

Three leaders of a communal land association at ­loggerheads with a local traditional leader over land ownership in Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal, are in hiding after their houses were burnt down. Such conflicts, between traditional authorities and a postapartheid ­structures legislated to promote democratic rural land ownership, will be brought into sharp focus when the Constitutional Court rules on who owns the rights to a supposedly platinum-rich area of North West province.

Global: Land Grabbing in Southeast Asia – What can Africa Learn?

June 12, 2015

The past decade has seen a proliferation of big corporate land deals across Southeast Asia. The resonances with experiences in Africa are striking: foreign and domestic capital working together to annex land, water, forests and, with the law and might of governments, riding roughshod over the resource rights, territory and livelihoods of local people.

Indonesia: ONE MAP Crucial for Conflict-Free Development

June 12, 2015

Recognising the need to tackle the land tenure chaos, the Indonesian government is implementing its One Map initiative, first conceived under former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Canada: Milestone Achieved in Algonquins of Ontario Land Claim Negotiations

June 12, 2015

The governments of Canada and Ontario and the Algonquins of Ontario announced today that their negotiators have initialled a proposed Agreement-in-Principle on the Algonquin Land Claim. This is a key step toward a final agreement that will balance the rights of all concerned and open up new economic development opportunities for the benefit of the Algonquins and their neighbours in eastern Ontario.

Panama: Indigenous Communities Oppose Hydro Electric Program

June 12, 2015

Indigenous groups in Panama are protesting against a hydroelectric project being built on their land without prior consent.

Thailand: Relief for Forest Poor

June 12, 2015

Efforts to end the violent crackdown on the forest poor are one step closer to reality after the National Reform Council this week endorsed a bill on community land deeds. But is too soon to celebrate…

Belize: Garifuna community wants communal land rights

June 11, 2015

“What we want and what we are demanding from government is to go back to our traditional way of allocating lands and shearing lands with the residents of Ugada Hopkins. Most of the people in Hopkins want the traditional way of governing.”

Trinidad and Tobago: Fear of ‘land grab’ with Squatters Bill

June 11, 2015

The new Squatters Regularisation Bill may result in a “virtual land grab” and sideline the “disadvantaged” people who it is intended to target…

Zimbabwe: Land Reform Nightmare

June 11, 2015

The Government, battling to stem an accelerating economic crisis that was primarily triggered by its land reform programme, is contemplating returning some under-utilised farmlands back to a number of former white owners after failing to compensate them.

Brazil: Tapajós and other Amazon dams not sustainable development say reports

June 11, 2015

Plans to build hydroelectric dams globally — especially in the Amazon and other tropical locales — are often touted as “sustainable development.” However, according to a trio of new reports, these large infrastructure projects will do enormous harm to rainforest ecosystems and indigenous peoples, while also emitting far more greenhouse gases…

Indonesia: Palm oil companies exploit Indonesia’s people – and its corrupt political machine

June 11, 2015

Efforts to prevent deforestation, protect indigenous communities and help smallholders overlook the rich vein of criminality in the plantation sector…

Trinidad and Tobago: Tobagonians learn about property rights

June 10, 2015

“In Tobago, we have landmarks such as ‘I own from here to the coconut tree, while my sister owns from the coconut tree to the breadnut tree’, but what about when those trees die. Here in Tobago, we are suffering the consequences of lack of boundaries, this sometimes leads to fight…”

India: Journalist Set on Fire after Accusing Minister over Land Grabs

June 10, 2015

The freelance journalist, Joginder Singh, gave a statement to a magistrate before dying on Monday from burns covering 60% of his body. Insp Gen Satish Ganesh said Singh had implicated Uttar Pradesh state’s dairy minister, Ram Murti Singh Yadav, as well as two police officers in the attack on 1 June. No arrests have been made.