Friday, February 14, 2014

Ye'kwana and Sanema Peoples of Venezuela Threatened by Illegal Mining, Lack of Constitutional Implementation

A report from the Forest Peoples Programme discusses how the Ye'kwana and Sanema Indigenous Peoples of Venezuela have mobilized and organized themselves in the last decade or more to claim their rights and to protect the biological resources of their lands and territories. They have created a radio network; established a multi-ethnic, basin-wide Indigenous association; mapped their customary land use system; registered their knowledge as their own intellectual property and became the first ethnic group to apply for legal title under the new laws of Venezuela. Additionally, they have trained community members as ‘para-biologists’; carried out community-level workshops to review their customary institutions; called for the co-management of the existing protected areas; and built up their own institutional capacity, focused on improved interethnic relations and the empowerment of Indigenous women.


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