Global Response Campaign Alerts

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February 2014

Community radio has been a vital presence in Indigenous communities in Guatemala since the 1960s. Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala rely on community radio to keep their cultures, languages, and traditions alive as well as to inform their communities about issues and events relevant to their lives. Community radio also serves the vital function of distributing content to listeners in their own language, reaching even the poorest areas where radio may be the only affordable form of communication.

January 2014
The Amazon: known for its incredible biodiversity, thriving rivers, rich Indigenous culture and now, deep contamination from toxic waste dumped for decades by the petroleum industry.
September 2013
For over five months, the Lenca community of Rio Blanco has been blocking the illegal construction of a hydroelectric dam, part of a larger mega-dam complex, on their territory with the help of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). The concession for this dam was illegally granted without the constitutionally protected consent of the Lenca people who live in the area and who depend on the river to grow the beans, corn, yucca, plantains, and other crops to survive.
August 2013

For the Maasai people of the Rift Valley in Kenya, being evicted from their homeland has become all too common. Over the years, the government of Kenya has dispossessed over 4,000 families in the Naivasha region. Without alternative land to settle on or compensation for the losses they incurred during forced evictions, these families’ fates are uncertain. In the 1980s, the Maasai were evicted from their land to facilitate the creation of the Hells Gate National Park.

May 2013
The fight is on to save Teztan Biny, "Fish Lake" a place of enormous cultural and spiritual significance for the The Tsilhqot’in Nation of British Colombia, Canada. Along with partners at work across Canada, Cultural Survival joins the Tsilhqot'in in demanding that "New Prosperity Mine" be cancelled and abandoned. But they need help from the international community to make their voices heard.
February 2013
With over 90 protected areas, Belize has earned a reputation for conservation. Its magnificent barrier reef, tropical rainforests, and ancient Maya temples make it a popular eco-tourism destination. But just how deep is its commitment to protecting its natural resources and Indigenous Peoples?  Not deep enough to safeguard its second largest national park, and the Indigenous Maya and Garifuna peoples who live there, from oil drilling.
August 2012
On May 1, 2012, a community leader in Guatemala was killed by security guards of a Spanish hydroelectric company. Riots broke out. In response, President Molina declared martial law and army tanks descended into Santa Cruz Barillas, Huehuetenango. Heavily armed military lined the streets of the Q’anjob’al Maya town, seeking and detaining community leaders who were outspoken against the dam.
May 2012
A New York based company is clearing rainforest for a huge monoculture palm oil plantation despite protests from local Indigenous groups.
February 2012
Soldiers are forcing Indigenous Peoples off their homelands to benefit foreign agro industries.
October 2011

Help Indigenous Kuy communities stop destruction of this unique primary forest.

September 2011
This pipeline from Canada’s Tar Sands to the Gulf Coast threatens water sources, cultural sites, agricultural lands, animal life, and public health.
August 2011
Construction threatens World Heritage Site, national parks, and sacred lands of the Telengit people.
May 2011
A Chinese dam project threatens Central America’s largest tropical rainforest and Indigenous populations.
February 2011
Phulbari open-pit mine would displace thousands of Indigenous people.
October 2010
Stop mining in the sacred Wirikuta region of San Luis Potosí.
August 2010

Indigenous Peoples, environmental groups, and labor organizations in Panama are outraged over new laws that undermine human rights and erode environmental protections.

July 2010
VICTORY!
June 2010

The government of Papua New Guinea doesn’t want to hear from us. It has authorized a Chinese mining company to dump toxic waste into the sea, and it is determined to stifle dissent from every quarter.  It hired scientists to assess potential harm to marine life, but when the scientists warned that the damage could be widespread, it suppressed and ignored their findings.

January 2010

In January, 2010, a team from Cultural Survival’s Global Response program went to Kenya to document a year-long pattern of brutal police assaults on the Samburu people of northern Kenya. These assaults, which include killing, raping, beating, and wholesale robbery, take place in an atmosphere of racial prejudice and discrimination against pastoralist tribes that resist assimilation and westernization in order to maintain their unique cultures.

November 2009

To deep-sea divers and conservationists, the circle of islands that surrounds the Savu Sea in eastern Indonesia is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, home to the famed Komodo dragon and to half the whale species on the planet. To mining companies and government officials, the islands represent a cache of gold, copper, manganese and marble, ripe for exploitation and profit. And to the Indigenous Peoples whose livelihoods depend on the bounty of the forests, the sea, and their croplands, it is their life and the home of their ancestors.

November 2009

For nearly two decades, the Indigenous community of Didipio in the Philippines has been fighting to stop a gold and copper mine that threatens their environment, farmlands, and families. The mining company and government have responded with violence and intimidation and ignored the people’s rights. But now there is real chance to stop this mine once and for all.

May 2009
VICTORY!
February 2008

In the Aysen region of Chilean Patagonia, the people still drink pure water out of rivers that tumble from glaciers through pristine temperate rainforests and spill into scenic fjords. A plethora of mini-climates and ecosystems give Chile’s forests the highest biological diversity among the world’s temperate rainforests. Endemism (species that exist nowhere else on the planet) is also high. The huemul, an endemic deer that appears with the condor on the Chilean national shield, still survives in the Patagonian wilderness, though in most of Chile it is remembered only as a legend.

January 2008

The Deepor Beel wetland in India's Assam state is recognized as one of the most significant wetland systems in the world under the Ramsar International Convention on Wetlands. Neglect and mismanagement threaten to transform a vibrant, productive ecosystem into a massive garbage dump for nearby cities. Indigenous people who rely on Deepor's vast resources and the scientific community have joined forces to stop the wanton destruction of Deepor Beel.

February 2007

What does “progress” look like? The answer depends on who’s doing the looking and who’s benefiting. For multinational corporations and many national governments, progress means foreign investment, industrialization and wage labor jobs. But for many rural communities and indigenous peoples, progress means land rights, formation of cooperatives, fair trade partnerships, and protection of communal resources like forests, rivers and wetlands.

January 2007

Each year, Olive Ridley sea turtles return from their inter-oceanic migrations to the beaches where they were hatched. Hundreds of thousands congregate and mate in the offshore waters. Then, as if on cue, the females lumber ashore to lay their eggs. Their arrival -- by the hundreds of thousands on a given beach -- is heralded by the Spanish term for this remarkable event, the arribada. Arribadas occur in only three locations worldwide. One of the largest is on the coast of Orissa state in India.

January 2006

VICTORY!

The Sierra de Perija is the northernmost range of the Andes mountains, reaching to the Caribbean along the Colombia-Venezuelan border.

April 2005

VICTORY!

In northern Kosovo, 500 people live in camps maintained by the United Nations, where they are continually exposed to severe lead poisoning. The most recent (2005) World Health Organization study in these camps found that 88 percent of children under age six had blood lead levels in the highest category, described as “acute medical emergency.” Even the lowest measured blood lead level was three times higher than the permissible level for children (10 ug/dL). Health impacts of lead poisoning in children are irreversible.

March 2005

For two decades, the Penan indigenous people have tenaciously defended their rainforest home against the constant incursions of logging companies. In the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, 90 percent of primary forests already have been logged. Now the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) has certified a private logging company to “manage” one of Sarawak’s last remaining primary forests, where over 400 Penan families live.

February 2005

VICTORY!

If we didn’t know it before, last year’s devastating tsunami in South and Southeast Asia taught us that mangrove forests provide the best protection for life and property when hurricanes and tidal waves strike.

January 2005

 

In the Central American country of Guatemala which recently emerged from decades of devastating civil war, indigenous peoples are now facing another assault on their lands and their rights. The threat comes from powerful multinational mining companies, backed by the Guatemalan government and the World Bank.

In the last five years, the Guatemalan government has granted over 250 mining concessions, covering roughly ten percent of the country. Ninety percent of this land is occupied by indigenous peoples, who are demanding immediate cancellation of the mining permits.

April 2004

The Shuar and Achuar indigenous peoples are under siege. For thousands of years they have lived in the ancient tropical rainforest where the Amazon lowlands meet the Andes. They call their territory Transkutuku, but now it has another name: Block 24. Since 1999, the Texas-based oil company Burlington Resources has held a concession for oil exploration in Block 24; one of several concessions the Ecuadorian government gave to multinational oil companies without consulting with the indigenous residents.

March 2004

 

February 2004

VICTORY!

The Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in Central Africa is a land of extremes:

January 2004

 

July 2003

 

The World Bank should know better. Its own reports show that after 50 years its top-down development schemes - aimed at alleviating poverty - have left the people of Africa poorer. In Uganda, a lush land that lies between the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the dry plains of Kenya and Tanzania, the average annual income is barely $300, and 95 percent of the population lacks electricity. 

July 2003

 

The planet's highest biological diversity is found in coral reefs, but these beautiful and productive ecosystems are shrinking fast. We've lost over 20 percent of the world's reefs in the last 20 years, and scientists warn that up to 70 percent may be destroyed by human activities in the next couple decades. Rising ocean temperatures are killing reefs throughout the tropics, and industrial pollution is causing deadly coral diseases.

May 2003

 

April 2003

One of the most dramatic social movements for environmental protection in our time was waged in the Republic of Korea, and the threatened ecosystem was a vast expanse of mud.

The Saemangeum tidal flats formed over millennia as the Mankyung and Dongjin rivers deposited silt at the shore of the Yellow Sea. Teaming with fish, shellfish and invertebrates, the mudflats supported some 25,000 small–scale fishermen and their families.

March 2003

The market value of gold may be going up, but the value of gold to the people of developing countries is under hot debate. Nowhere is the controversy greater than in Ghana, West Africa, where mining has been going on for hundreds of years, and gold makes up more than 40% of foreign exchange. “Everywhere you go, you see huge cavities in the ground, discarded pits where thriving villages once stood and nothing now grows,” writes BBC reporter John Kampfner. “People have been forced off their farming land, losing their only source of income.”

January 2003

 

April 2001

 

In the late 1980s, the Kayapo people forced the Brazilian government to abandon plans to build 6 huge dams on the Xingu River. The international uproar over environmental and human rights concerns was enough to persuade the World Bank to suspend financing for all dams in the Amazon Basin.