Sunday, April 5, 2009

We need to know more about forest issues as they relate to indigenous peoples

Dear Editor,

In an article appearing in the Caribbean Net News about financial aid for combating tropical deforestation, the President was reported to be unhappy about the way payment will be done. All about money. What about the Indigenous peoples who have tremendously contributed to the preservation of the forest where they live? There has been no mention about how these people will benefit and how this will affect their lives.

In the meanwhile concessions to loggers and miners continue to be dished out lavishly on ancestral lands occupied and used by Indigenous peoples for thousands of years, and these very activities contribute to deforestation and permanent damage to the environment as well as people. Most times if not all, there is only talk about preserving and conserving and protecting the environment, and the people component of the environment is always forgotten or down-played. When will we ever be allowed to participate meaningfully in activities which will affect our very lives and the future generation of our peoples, through our own representatives and institutions?

Where are the government’s international obligations which speak about the meaningful participation of Indigenous peoples and which they have ratified?

We need to know much, much more about this selling of forest or what is being done to the forest and other issues affecting other Guyanese.

Yours faithfully,
Tony James
Amerindian Peoples Association

Published in Stabroek News

No comments: