Video / Audio - Land Rights
This vibrant animation from The Gaia Foundation and animator Ben Pearce takes us on two very different journeys through the water cycle. One shows the life-giving nature of water for everything from forests to frogs. The other reveals the ways in which mining is damaging the water cycle, putting life itself in jeopardy. The Gaia Foundation website, gaiafoundation.org, contains many reports written on the extractive industries and their effect on ecosystems, indigenous peoples livelihoods and the future of the natural cycles of this planet.
A short film made by WALHI in Indonesia about the ecological effects that large corporations are having on the peatlands of Indonesia. WALHI believes that best practice by communities in managing forests and peat swamp ecosystems are the answer to many important aspects which include: addressing the conflict; food sovereignty; creating welfare for the people; and as a mitigation efforts.
West and Central Africa. This video provides a window onto the reality of women-led artisanal palm oil production, a reality often rendered invisible in narratives of global industrial palm oil. This model is under threat by the rapid advance of industrial plantations, free trade agreements and corporate-controlled value chains at the expense of community-based food systems. (To activate the English subtitles in the video below, click on "CC" at the bottom-right.) (Grain / 2016)
The Brazilian government is planning to build a vast number of big dams on the rivers around the Amazon Rainforest, destroying biodiversity and disrupting the way of life of thousands of Amerindians and local populations. Now that the work is well under way on the huge Belo Monte dam, on the Xingu river, the government is pushing ahead with its next big project - a series of dams on the Tapajós river. But 12,000 Munduruku Indians, long feared as warriors, live here and are fighting back. This documentary, filmed in late 2013 and early 2014, looks at life in a Munduruku village, where traditional skills are practised and children are brought up with remarkable freedom. It documents the growth of resistance, even among the women, not traditionally fighters, some of whom are emerging as guerreiras (woman warriors). This video was produced independently, with the support of some organizations in the UK, such as LAB and Lipman Miliband Trust, Munduruku leaders and their local supporters. The post-production process was made thanks to collaborative and solidarity work. (Nayana Fernandez 2014)
In Defence of Life, a film by Jess Phillimore for The Gaia Foundation, follows the struggles and triumphs of four communities resisting large-scale mining projects in Colombia, the Philippines, South Africa and Romania. Courageous environmental and human rights defenders from these communities describe how they have suffered and why they are standing firm to protect their families, land, water and life from destruction by mining. Their inspiring David and Goliath struggles demonstrate that when injustice and destruction become globalised, so does resistance.(The Gaia Foundation 2015)
When tribal peoples lose their lands, their societies disintegrate and individuals often succumb to alcoholism and fatal diseases. The only international law that can secure tribal peoples’ land rights is the International Labour Organization Convention 169. ILO 169 recognizes and protects tribal peoples’ land ownership rights, and sets a series of minimum UN standards regarding consultation and consent. ILO 169 has been around since 1989, but only twenty-two countries have ratified it so far. At this rate, it will be another 170 years before every country has ratified the Convention. Every country that does so, strengthens its force, and gives tribal peoples a greater chance to survive and thrive (Survival International).
The Kichwa tribe in the Sarayaku region of the Amazon in Ecuador believe in the ‘living forest’, where humans, animals and plants live in harmony. They are fighting oil companies who want to exploit their ancestral land. A delegation of indigenous people are at the Paris COP21 climate conference to make sure their voices are heard. Can they win their battle? (The Guardian, 2015).
In this video, Nery Zapata speaks about the difficulties of being a woman from a minority group in Atalaya, leading the indigenous local organization. As President of CORPIAA and Coordinator of the Veeduría, she has an important role. Reaching and remaining in her position has required self-confidence and determination, as is evidenced from her words. The video also features Patricia Cachique, an indigenous leader from the native community Boca Apinihua. Patricia emphasizes the importance of training women as well as men in issues related to forest management and climate change, and points out the importance of shared knowledge between women and men if there is to be shared decision-making (Helvetas Perú, 2015).
A short film by Lazar Konforti (losdespojados.tumblr.com) showing the resilience of the indigenous Maya-Q'eqchi' community of Lote Ochoa community. They were violently evicted from their land in 2007 by private security forces in the employ of Canadian multinational mining company HudBay Minerals, backed by Guatemalan police and military personnel, but have since regrouped and re-built their homes. (www.rightsaction.org)
The Territories of Life toolkit is a series of 10 short videos that shares stories of resistance, resilience and hope with communities on the frontline of the global rush for land. The aim of the toolkit is to share stories, experiences and ideas between communities, and to help spark discussions of your own.