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The shrinking democratic space in Asia has made it increasingly difficult for land and indigenous rights defenders to push for policy changes that guarantee indigenous peoples’ right to land, territories, and natural resources.
Asia has the largest number of Indigenous Peoples – about 411 million live in the region as per Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) estimate*. The recognition of indigenous peoples’ land rights is clearly reflected in Article 26 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which states “Indigenous Peoples have the right to the lands, territories, and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.”
However, Indigenous Peoples continue to suffer from development aggression,
the imposition of national parks and conservation areas, and criminalization caused by misinterpretation of Indigenous Peoples’ traditional land use and livelihoods, among others.
Recognition, protection, and fulfillment of indigenous peoples' right to land are critical, not only for their identity but also for their survival and wellbeing. In this regard, governments across Asia need to respect the economic, social, cultural, and spiritual values and importance that indigenous peoples attach to their lands, territories, and resources.
What we do
This regional initiative brings together ILC members and partner organisations to collaborate in advancing the recognition of indigenous peoples’ land rights in the Asia region. It is also seen an effort of ILC and AIPP members, partners, and networks to also support the Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights or also known as the Land Rights Now campaign, which all ILC Asia members are part of.
Under the main goal Indigenous Peoples’ rights to lands, territories and resources are recognised and governed by the communities in a sustainable manner, this initiative strives for the following outcomes:
- Strengthened in-country and inter-country learning, collaboration, and solidarity to sustain indigenous peoples’ land rights advocacy in various levels as a regional platform;
- Increased awareness of and support to indigenous peoples' rights to land, territories, and resources by the wider civil society organisations and relevant institutions in order to achieve policy change and effective implementation
The aforementioned goals and objectives are envisaged to be reached through various activities involving Indigenous Peoples as the primary actors of this initiative along with relevant stakeholders
* Shimreichon Luithui-Erni, 2019, ‘Status of Indigenous Peoples’ Lands, Territories and Resources (LTR) in Asia’ AIPP Publications.
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