Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The indigenous' struggle for natural resources

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October 29, 2013

In this segment of Health On Earth, Lorraine spoke with Simone Lovera, the Executive Director of the Global Forest Coalition. Simone is based in Paraguay. She is a social justice activist who participates in international forest policy meetings and works towards indigenous people's rights. In light of recent protests mainly in South America with regards to land rights, unemployment, and health issues, Simone explained the severity of green land grabbing issues and the need for socially-just forest policies. With increasing demand for biomass and natural resources, there is insufficient political incentives in reinforcing corporate social responsibilities. Thus, the organization launched a manual for communities on alternatives to REDD+ on June 3 in Bonn, Germany, as feasible solutions to involuntary displacements of communities and bioenergy production.

In the same vein, the indigenous community's struggle for natural resources and land rights takes place in our backyard. Free Speech Radio News' Aaron Lakoff reported that "In Canada, people are rallying to support an Indigenous community in northern British Columbia that is claiming its sovereignty over the land and maintaining blockades against oil and gas companies who want to build pipelines on their territory. The Wet'suwet'en territory is located 675 miles north of Vancouver, and lies on what has been described as Canada's “carbon corridor,” a geographically strategic region where major oil companies such as Chevron and Exxon are seeking to connect the Alberta tar sands to the Pacific coast for export. The Unis'tot'en clan of the Wet'suwet'en nation claim that these pipelines would threaten water sources, rivers, and forest, and are prone to leaks and spills."

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