In the northeast of Guatemala is the site of one of the largest community forests in the world, covering almost half a million hectares of forest. It is part of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, established by the Government of Guatemala in 1990.
The Misak are an indigenous people whose territory is in Cauca, high in the Andes mountains in Colombia. During Spanish colonial rule, they lost large parts of their territory, but in he 1980s they started a process of reclaiming their land. Eventually they gained formally recognised land rights.
Communities are using national law, regional law and international law to fight against the takeover of their lands. This new video by LifeMosaic looks at how communities are using the law in three countries; Indonesia, Tanzania and Paraguay.
In 1992, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, then Tanzania’s president, agreed a deal with Brigadier Mohamed Abdul Rahim Al Ali, deputy minister of defense of the United Arab Emirates. But this wasn’t only a military deal.
Grains, meat, sugar, palm oil, pulp and paper, coal, aluminium, copper, gold, oil. Just some of the commodities that corporations take from the lands of indigenous peoples to ship around the world in order to generate profits.
LifeMosaic has produced an excellent new series of 10 videos, sharing “stories of resistance, resilience and hope with communities on the frontline of the global rush for land”. The video series is titled, “Territories of Life: A video toolkit for indigenous peoples about land and rights”.
Once again, an Indonesian pulp and paper company is clearing the forests of indigenous communities to replace them with industrial tree plantations. Once again, villagers are protesting. Once again, the police and authorities are siding with the company.
“We cannot decide whether we would accept or not because we have had no information at all,” Jajang Kurniawan a farmer in West Java told film makers LifeMosaic. “The name of the programme is very foreign to us. What is this REDD? What kind of animal is it, we just don’t know.”