“Monkey”, “pig”, “dog” – these words were shouted at a group of West Papuan students, who had been arrested and later released due to lack of evidence. They were accused of burning the Indonesian flag. This is the latest development in a more than 60-year struggle for the independence of West Papua. Massive protests are currently taking place in West Papua, and news of victims on both sides has reached the media. A local indigenous organisation condemns the racist remarks and general stigmatisation of indigenous peoples in West Papua.
While the international community is focusing its attention on the advancing fires in Brazil, the reality is that the problem transcends the South American giant and is reflected in the nine Amazonian countries. Beneath the ashes, the fire has shown (once again), a conflict that specialists have long pointed out: the implementation of a development model based on the extraction of natural resources at the expense of nature.
In August 2019, US President Mr Donald Trump expressed an interest in buying Greenland from Denmark. In an update on Facebook, IWGIA's Board Member and Inuit from Greenland, Sara Olsvig, explains why Greenland cannot be bought, and how Trump's apparent interest in Greenland is based on ignorance of all peoples’, including indigenous peoples' right to self-determination.
Indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest are on the front line of defending themselves and their land from the rapidly spreading fires. A majority of the tens of thousands of fires are happening in Brazil, though fires are also raging in Bolivia where 10,000 km2 of forests (an area the size of Lebanon) have burned, as well as large areas in Paraguay and Peru.
When the Community Land Act was adopted in September 2016, it was perceived as a great step forward for securing indigenous communities’ land rights in Kenya. However, three years after its adoption there are still more questions than answers over its implementation. IWGIA is supporting a pilot project in northern Kenya focusing on the implementation of the Act to increase awareness and develop guidelines for the process.