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In two newly released reports, indigenous leaders point out that the current concession allocations system in Guyana is unjust, severely flawed and facilitated by a national legal framework that does not fully respect their internationally protected rights to their customary lands and resources.
“The foreign companies come and they have legal rights and we the people who have been living here all the time do not have legal rights.” [Resident, Kwebanna village]
BY CHRIS ARSENAULT
TORONTO, Nov 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A potential trade pact between the European Union and Guyana must contain land rights protections for local residents in order to avert the possible displacement of indigenous people, activists said on Tuesday.
Rising trade in timber stemming from such a deal could improve living standards in the South American country, according to a report released by activist groups the Forest Peoples Programme and the Amerindian Peoples Association.
Generally, most rural land in the world has been in the hands of local peasant communities and indigenous peoples under customary land tenure systems; historically although, land ownership in rural areas, and natural resources contained in it, have been a source of tension between different actors with different ways to understand and take ownership. In this conflict of interest, usually rural and indigenous communities with collective forms of property, have lost out.
This is a resource from the Resource Equity LandWise database of resources.
The source of this link is Constitute. The Constitute Project provides the World's constitutions (in English) to read, search and compare.
The source for this link is the Georgetown University Political Database of the Americas.
Based on the experiences of Amerindian communities in Guyana, this briefing presents some of the main causes of forest conflicts in the country as well as recommendations for how to address these. In particular, the document presents the following points:
• Lack of full recognition of indigenous peoples’ land rights in line with international law, absence of effective FPIC procedures and limited transparency in forest governance are key underlying causes of forest-related conflicts in Guyana;
The World Trade Organization (WTO) hailed the recent Hong Kong Sixth Ministerial Meeting last December 2005 as a positive movement towards the conclusion of the Doha Development Round. The round was supposedly geared towards ensuring that trade contributes to the development objectives of least developed and developing countries.
A Special Product (SP) is an agricultural product “out of the WTO” in that they are not subject to tariff reductions, i. e. Countries can keep the right to maintain protective tariffs on certain agricultural products that are essential for food security, rural development, and farmers’ livelihoods. The G33 proposal is for 10% of developing country products to be exempt from tariff reductions, with an additional 10% of product lines to have limited tariff reductions. This would be somewhere in the range of 300 products. The US counter-proposal is for a mere 5 products!