Indigenous groups

Rainforest scene

Brazil’s President Lula creates two new Indigenous territories, bringing total to 10

The Cacique Fontoura reserve will be in Mato Grosso state and the Aldeia Velha territory will be in Bahia state. They will cover a combined total area of almost 132 square miles. Speaking at a ceremony in Brasilia, Lula said Indigenous peoples should be patient as he seeks to fulfill his pledge of creating 14 new territories. Last year, he demarcated six territories in April and two more in September.

Brazil’s President Lula creates two new Indigenous territories, bringing total to 10 Read more

Inside Passage Landscape, Canada

British Columbia agrees to hand title of a million acres of land back to the Haida Nation

For centuries, the Haida people have known that the impenetrable forests and bountiful waters of Haida Gwaii – “the islands at the boundary of the world” – were both a life-giving force and their rightful home. Now, after decades of negotiation, the province of British Columbia has come to the same conclusion: the title over more than 200 islands off Canada’s west coast should rightfully be held by the Haida Nation.

British Columbia agrees to hand title of a million acres of land back to the Haida Nation Read more

Indigenous person from Kogui people of Colombia

New online tool is first to track funding to Indigenous, local, and Afro-descendant communities

The Path to Scale dashboard, developed in a partnership between the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and the Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN), provides information on funding from 133 donors since 2011 based on publicly available information. According to the developers, this publicly accessible dashboard will help donors, NGOs and rights holders identify critical funding gaps and opportunities in global efforts to secure communities’ rights.

New online tool is first to track funding to Indigenous, local, and Afro-descendant communities Read more

Whale jumping

In move to protect whales, Polynesian Indigenous groups give them ‘personhood’

Indigenous leaders of New Zealand, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands signed a historic treaty that recognizes whales as legal persons in a move conservationists believe will apply pressure to national governments to offer greater protections for the large mammals. “It’s fitting that the traditional guardians are initiating this,” said Mere Takoko, a Māori conservationist who leads Hinemoana Halo Ocean Initiative, the group that spearheaded the treaty. “For us, by restoring those world populations we also restore our communities.”

In move to protect whales, Polynesian Indigenous groups give them ‘personhood’ Read more

Redwoods with sun shining through

Yurok Tribe becomes the first to manage land with U.S. National Park Service

California’s Yurok Tribe, which had 90% of its territory taken from it during the gold rush of the mid-1800s, will be getting a slice of its land back to serve as a new gateway to Redwood national and state parks visited by 1 million people a year. The Yurok will be the first Native people to manage tribal land with the National Park Service under a historic memorandum of understanding signed by the tribe, Redwood national and state parks, and the non-profit Save the Redwoods League.

Yurok Tribe becomes the first to manage land with U.S. National Park Service Read more

California coast

First ever U.S. Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area declared in California

The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, Resighini Rancheria, and Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community designated the first ever Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area (IMSA) in the U.S. along the northern California coast.
The tribes plan to steward nearly 700 square miles of their ancestral ocean and coastal territories from the California-Oregon border to Little River near the town of Trinidad, California using traditional ecological knowledge and management practices.

First ever U.S. Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area declared in California Read more

Golden mahseer fish swimming

Indigenous effort in Bangladesh helps reverse endangered fish’s slide to extinction

Unchecked logging and quarrying of rocks from streambeds in Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts led to springs drying up and populations of putitor mahseer fish, an endangered species, disappearing. A project launched in 2016 and backed by USAID and the UNDP is working with Indigenous communities to reverse this decline.
Now, as a result of these efforts, areas where forests have been conserved have seen the flow of springs stabilize and fish populations revive.

Indigenous effort in Bangladesh helps reverse endangered fish’s slide to extinction Read more

Rainforest

Historic ruling in Ecuador returns ownership of ancestral land to the Siekopai people

For the first time, Ecuador has recognized an Indigenous population’s right to “possess a territory that has been declared a protected area.” Indigenous advocates hope this ruling can serve as a precedent for other Indigenous communities that are trying to regain control of their land.

Historic ruling in Ecuador returns ownership of ancestral land to the Siekopai people Read more

View of mountains and water in British Columbia

British Columbia, Canadian government, and First Nations announce $1 billion conservation agreement

The Canadian federal government has signed its first major nature agreement with a province and First Nations to mutually support protecting 30% of lands and waters by 2030. The agreement is meant to protect old growth forests in the B.C., support the recovery of at-risk species, and restore ecosystems.

British Columbia, Canadian government, and First Nations announce $1 billion conservation agreement Read more