The situation for Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh in many ways echoes the situation of other Indigenous Peoples in Asia: they face heavy militarization; they are stigmatized as anti-national for wanting to be included in decisions affecting their lives – such as industrial development taking place on their ancestral lands, lands which they depend on for their livelihood; and their lands are grabbed at the speed of light, and with their land goes a huge part of their identity. Indigenous women are targeted, and rape is used systematically as a weapon to suppress them. The misery seems to be unending. Yet they are still here; alive, struggling, fighting, uniting.
The transition from the use of traditional energy sources to renewable energy solutions is rapidly becoming a necessity if humanity is to address the climate emergency we face. However, this pursuit cannot happen at the expense of human rights, including the loss of land, livelihoods and rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“We will surrender our lives but not our land, hills and forests,” says representatives of Datobeda village, Jharkhand, India
27 January 2020 | Copenhagen, Denmark | IWGIA welcomes the appointment of its new Board Chair, Professor Ida Theilade, who joined the Board in September 2019. Ida Theilade has a PhD in tropical botany from the University of Copenhagen and has worked with participatory management and the conservation of tropical forests for the past 25 years. Her research explores the role local and indigenous knowledge and institutions can play in natural resource management, tropical forest preservation and climate action.
IWGIA participated in the first part of the 65th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ in Gambia (21/10-10/11) and participated in a side-event on how to strengthen the voice of indigenous peoples and communities in Africa and in the ACHPR. We also supported a member of the Ogiek community in Kenya to participate and give a statement.