Environmental Activities

On Human Rights Day, December 10, the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) released a statement condemning the exclusion of Indigenous peoples from the climate change talks going on in Copenhagen. "Although we are the most affected by climate change effects, our voices, our propositions, on the various negotiating texts are currently being ignored because not only are we kept outside the room but no one is listening to the cries and suffering of our peoples." The statement also called for a protest at the talks, where the Indigenous contingent includes two Cultural Survival representatives (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102878715713&s=5868&e=001qBXoNMr5lDs60xx1dxqDHGij7XMshgtZ07BM4ex3Oj2l6TIpqesrlTn3lx0k-71eK4E3Ad_r0O7ARfDm1w8DmlYeV4vhHljUijLONIIDwln6irMbTQV2zYr-IFFg351_J53Xg1LEkpMq4JF1lNK0FeaUjJUwh-9rMG0dgwXEsGr6YQBypsHAwvtjJxjSVqaqqRq8pHcpCOK)

Global Exchange reported, April 22, that it spent Earth Day at the World People's Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights in Tiquipaya, Bolivia. "The conference is a response to the disappointing failure of the Copenhagen Climate Conference last December. Called by Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, it is designed to gather input from people all over the world and shape that input into a plan that can effectively address climate change." "There are representatives here from all over the world, including several heads of state. Social movement representatives have had real, effective access through working groups that are producing the conference outcomes on adaptation, migration, climate debt, action strategies and a host of other issues." "At issue here in Bolivia is a radically different approach to the issue of climate change, and it is an approach that has broad and deep support among social justice groups worldwide. The Copenhagen Climate Conference attempted to address climate change while retaining the priority of market mechanisms - in effect ranking the maintenance of life on earth as secondary to the maintenance of healthy profit rates for major international corporations. The true significance of the conference here in Bolivia is the rejection of that paradigm. Refreshingly, the People's Conference on Climate Change assumes that protecting life on earth is more important than protecting profits." For additional information go to: http://www.globalexchange.org/blogs/climatejustice/peoples-climate-conference-resources/. In addition, the People's Petition to Cap Carbon Dioxide Pollution at 350 parts per million posted by the Center for Biological Diversity is at: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=Ippvt6uTfekobISCcsbC8xoAs729xmhh.

Environmental Defense Action Fund reported, January 12, "10 Startling Climate Facts from 2009:" "1. A study published in the journal Science reports that the current level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere - about 390 parts per million - is higher today than at any time in measurable history -- at least the last 2.1 million years. Previous peaks of CO2 were never more than 300 ppm over the past 800,000 years, and the concentration is rising by around 2 ppm each year. 2. The World Meteorological Organization reported that 2000-2009 was the hottest decade on record with 8 of the hottest 10 years having occurred since 2000. 3. 2009 will end up as one of the 5 hottest years since 1850 and the U.K.'s Met Office predicts that, with a moderate El Nino, 2010 will likely break the record. 4. The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported that while a bit more summer Arctic sea ice appeared in 2009 than the record breaking lows of the last two years, it was still well below normal levels. Given that the Arctic ice cover remains perilously thin, it is vulnerable to further melting, posing an ever increasing threat to Arctic wildlife including polar bears. 5. The Arctic summer could be ice-free by mid-century, not at the end of the century as previously expected, according to a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 6. Recent observations published in the highly respected Nature Geosciences indicate that the East Antarctica ice sheet has been shrinking. This surprised researchers, who expected that only the West Antarctic ice sheet would shrink in the near future because the East Antarctic ice sheet is colder and more stable. 7. The U.S. Global Change Research Program completed an assessment of what is known about climate change impacts in the US and reported that, "Climate changes are already observed in the United States and… are projected to grow." These changes include "increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows." 8. According to a report by the US Geological Survey, slight changes in the climate may trigger abrupt threats to ecosystems that are not easily reversible or adaptable, such as insect outbreaks, wildfire, and forest dieback. "More vulnerable ecosystems, such as those that already face stressors other than climate change, will almost certainly reach their threshold for abrupt change sooner." An example of such an abrupt threat is the outbreak of spruce bark beetles throughout the western U.S. caused by increased winter temperatures that allow more beetles to survive. 9. The EPA, USGS and NOAA issued a joint report warning that most mid-Atlantic coastal wetlands from New York to North Carolina will be lost with a sea level rise of 1 meter or more. 10. If we do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century, some of the main fruit and nut tree crops currently grown in California may no longer be economically viable, as there will be a lack of the winter chilling they require. And, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S. production of corn, soybeans and cotton could decrease as much as 82%." For more information contact: takeaction@edf.org, http://support.edf.org/site/R?i=JqoavLQzSxW_CdHaTXvNbQ.

Care2, concerned that in Indonesia, over 20 million indigenous and forest-dependent people are at risk from palm oil expansion, noting that demand for palm oil from U.S. companies, such as General Mills, has tripled, bringing the clearing and burning of rainforests in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Care2 is leading a petition drive to get General Mills "to source only socially and environmentally responsible palm oil," which is a common ingredient in General Mills brands and products, from Betty Crocker to Nature Valley Granola Bars. For more information go to: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFuO5/zkki/JroH.

Carbonfund.org was engaged in April in a three month Million Tree Challenge supporting tree planting in Earthquake ravaged Haiti in effort to reduce flooding and landslides, and lesson global warming. For details go to: http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103335508684&s=8585&e=001G8bdFj3-tHh4d3zcGmWGbqgkacnQUp4AKQ-QB6NW1uTqbz-Ao9GuS_VmcSwklUZDMRvUXiGJ3BQSqurfYwfnN3Zp1qapnqWuBP_coAF_-Xeb4_OJC85bnofYEKrtFWWsugHctp8VdyrrxOpRav1kz1-GyqgwSEz4RIQdVBvavux6Uq83wpk9DU19nJvD-tlZptYECK3.

NRDC BioGem is concerned that the untouched wilderness of Alaska's Bristol Bay, home to an incredible array of wildlife, including grizzlies, wolves, seals and whales are all drawn there by the abundance of salmon, is now threatened by a number of foreign mining companies eyeing Bristol Bay for its gold and copper deposits, The only way to extract the region's gold and copper ore is exceedingly destructive and polluting, and even a single accident could be disastrous, especially for the area's wildlife. The proposed Pebble Mine, for example, would be one of the largest open-pit mines in the world and could create more than nine billion tons of toxic waste. For more information go to: http://www.nrdconline.org/site/R?i=1f4a2NPQ1O0M-DQaced9Gw.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency, at the end of January, for failing to limit dangerous pollution from particles such as soot and dust as required by the Clean Air Act, by monitoring five western states to ensure they are following the law. Particulate matter, or PM-10, is made up of tiny particles -- about 10 times tinier than the width of a human hair -- that can travel deep into the lungs and seriously harm human health when breathed, as well as forming regional haze that cloaks vistas in scenic places throughout the West. Particulate pollution also includes soot, or "black carbon," which is one of the most potent contributors to global warming. For more information from the Idaho Statesman go to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=ZHJCQPmHZITj81DPdOqvDUbOrKSgP%2FVm.

The Center for Biological Diversity, in mid February, filed notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency over registration of almost 400 chemicals that threaten 887 at-risk animal and plant species from death and harm from toxic pesticides -- as well as human health. The center charges EPA has violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to consult with federal wildlife agencies about pesticides' impacts on species across the nation before approving them for use. The Center also claims agency has violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by registering pesticides known to harm and kill sensitive migratory birds. The Center's Jeff Miller stated, "For too long this agency's oversight has been abysmal, allowing the pesticide industry to unleash a virtual plague of toxic chemicals into our environment." For more information from the Los Angeles Times go to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=baVN54hXenTeFUBX0tGepUbOrKSgP%2FVm.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), in October, was encouraging strong public positive feedback in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's review of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), "created to reward farmers and ranchers who responsibly tend their land in these ways Sustainable agricultural practices can produce food in ways that protect our water, soil, and wildlife habitat-all while helping us tackle the problem of global warming," finding the act "one of the best federal programs in last year's Food and Farm Bill", For more information go to: https://secure3.convio.net/ucs/site/Advocacy?page=UserActionInactive&id=2224.

A massive popular educational program is at the center of the long-term Zapatista resistance to genetically modified crops, which has slowed the spread of GMO's by encouraging small farmers to carefully guard seed sources and save heritage corn varieties. In addition, the autonomous Mayan communities have established GMO-free sanctuaries and solidarity grow-outs for their unique corn. However now, there is new evidence of spreading GMO contaminations in Mexico and the Mexican government is allowing "experimental" planting of GMO crops. This year, Zapatista promoters of ecological agriculture have continued to use simple "Field Testing Kits" to identify GMO contaminations, providing a rough gauge of GMO contamination while serving as a compelling educational tool in the rural Mayan communities of Chiapas, Mexico. Schools for Chiapas is running Delegation #90 "Mayan Corn and Organic Agriculture", July 25-31, 2010, inviting people to Come to Chiapas and work with Zapatista promoters of ecological agriculture who specialize in organic farming including natural plague control in beans, corn, coffee, and other crops, assisting in projects relating to the preservation of the natural environment and the people who live closest to it, including field testing for GMO contaminations. For more information, contact the Chiapas travel programs, rosemary@schoolsforchiapas.org http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102869305721&s=14830&e=001sDKOX_VSg3DtyvmG-AoaXI-Zx4Cwk2ORTdUBqSzk4a0dk7RVexjHW1r4Mq6zrhEVct02FyXF7Qxe0HP22DBCIAS5iVu6g8E7GU7xdfwVq_Kb-KITzwtohyj6yoYqR0ojDwrcPxe4geb2WXf2kgS1ABXbY69baQLwqacly9eUXDBogUYoR3pB40x_KVtY4wT-Pbejm8LroV (See also "Educating about GMO corn contaminations in Chiapas, Mexico, Schools for Chiapas," http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102869305721&s=14830&e=001sDKOX_VSg3A3nsXrJPVvj2E5cGPuh; and "First 'legal' planting of GMO crops in Mexico causes outcry!" Schools for Chiapas, http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102869305721&s=14830&e=001sDKOX_VSg3BpEH_dqCseyXW5C_4M3JlB3bvFflqzd5W-MP9o9a1QTS1ncaKpaFSWeJ9u7Cx0Lzl2ie-fRfKyk3VUW4YTIaAOG_8k5pUxett-ONp3d28TPbM9BTsyHrymk2N-HaYE1o4zzAWN22POB5MaTO3biSFV 4fOBlhgbim1_y9tgXYhymBrcoPPGk5jNE5K__sArh84OIDoCJP6DYBUs-I3uTFpt5iO3Tm0Zhjqztk5O-2AlEr5WCaBYTBsycYnDMYobUXVK0RuCK3gpRlbvlBPXMKkDrW5).

La Via Campesino, "Haitian Peasants March against Monsanto Company for Food and Seed Sovereignty," Americas Updater, http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2591, wrote, "On June 4th about ten thousand Haitian peasants marched to protest U.S.-based Monsanto Company's 'deadly gift' of seed to the government of Haiti. The seven-kilometer march from Papaye to Hinche-in a rural area on the central plateau-was organized by several Haitian farmers' organizations that are proposing a development model based on food and seed sovereignty instead of industrial agriculture. In May Monsanto announced that it had delivered 60 tons of hybrid seed maize and vegetables to Haiti, and over 400 tons of its seed (worth $4 million) will be delivered during 2010 to 10,000 farmers. Some consider Monsanto's seed donation part of a broader strategy of U.S. economic and political imperialism."

U.S. Activities

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 2010 State of Indian Nations Address took place on January 29, 2010 in Washington, DC, and was delivered by president Jefferson Keel. Much of the speech focused on the evolution of tribal self-government, land management, job creation, law enforcement, taxation, and revamping programs and services to create a healthy environment for future generations, and requesting the President and Congress to take transformative actions. Similarly, Noting that the U.S. government has lagged for many years in keeping up its financial commitment to trust responsibility to American Indians, NCAI's Executive Council Winter Session ended, March 5, with a focus on the President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget, strategies for more effectively engaging the Administration, and legislative proposals that will affect Native people and communities in the coming months. NCAI partnered with other organizations, in asking for more federal spending - much of which was achieved in the FY2011 federal budget (see Federal Indian Budgets Below), with moves made in Congress to make Bureau of Indian Education programs open to stimulus spending. Emphasis was place on renewal of the Indian healthcare legislation, improvements in education and justice and safety in Indian Country. For more information go to: http://www.ncai.org.

Cultural Survival joined with a dozen Native language advocacy groups, including the National Indian Education Association, Morning Star Institute, Indigenous Language Institute, National Alliance to Save Native Languages, and the Native Hawaiian Education Council to request that the Obama Administration implement a White House Initiative on Native Language Revitalization. Members of the groups met with senior policy advisors to the White House to introduce the proposal: "This year--the 20th anniversary of the United States' promise in the Native American Languages Act to assess and coordinate federal efforts to revitalize Native languages--is an ideal time to begin to fulfill that promise and to launch a White
House Initiative." For more information go to: http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103188010927&s=5868&e=0017i3_-oNfWgVueh1eEVJSs5J4hS_848QCCtbQ7GZUyRuniZFQc50Nik8F05Ln-4CCTxifa0FLgD__9BeeZXLbMN6aepBp6rJMjxxDQXs1sUsR4sS4IvCiTBykGsRz8wWuG1o9_yqzqSfZTiDQxGPD1OsOJyrBiQ65kxWJTsyR_t3kwpyv4sqO7CmUHyGg0m--ZiPqM17.

Arizona's controversial state anti-immigration law, S.B. 1070, passed April 23, that makes it a crime to be in Arizona illegally, and it requires police to check suspects for residency paperwork and also bans people from soliciting work or hiring day laborers off the street, is being strongly opposed by the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), and other Indian groups. While the bill was in the state legislature, the council sent a letter urging the legislature and governor not to pass the law. Since its passage, Council director John Lewis and other ITCA staffers traveled to Washington after the law passed to educate national policy makers about their concerns. Various Native American groups are calling on tribes and Indians to oppose the measure, hopefully to have it repealed. Lewis stated, "We have a range of concerns, including tribal sovereign nations not being recognized as able to define and protect their own borders as they see fit, and the possibility that tribal citizens will be profiled by police" "This impacts all indigenous people, and the lawmakers need to know it. America's boundaries are not tribal boundaries." Lewis noted that tribes are on and near the U.S.-Mexico border, including the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, are likely to be especially impacted. "Our tribes have much interaction with Mexico, through culture and life, and I'm not sure people realize that there's an economic impact involved as well." There is a wide spread concern among American Indians that they are likely to be unfairly targeted, based on their appearance and travel patterns. The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed similar concerns, and has vowed to monitor that aspect of the law, and court challenges to it were initiated just after the Arizona governor signed the bill (Rob Capriccioso. "Arizona law draws widespread indigenous opposition," Indian Country Today, May 3, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/home/content/92502024.html).

The National Indian Child Welfare Association held the 28th Annual "Protecting our Children:" National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in Portland, Ore., April 11 - 14, with more than 600 people in attendance. A major focus of the meeting was that American Indian/Alaska Native children are suffering the second-highest rate of child abuse victimization of any ethnic group, with the disproportionate rates of investigation and removal of children from indigenous homes and their placement with stranger caregivers, which is a continuing common reality for both United State's tribal nations (despite ICWA) and Canadian aboriginal communities. Considerable discussion was given to how communities meet challenges with culturally-competent solutions (Kristy Alberty, "Looking for answers to solvable problems," Indian Country Today, May 4, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/92510574.html).

The San Carlos Apache Tribe and other southwestern nations, the Sierra Club and local environmental groups, are opposing federal land swap legislation, S. 409 that would make possible a controversial underground copper mining operation on land that is sacred to the Apaches. The Apaches and environmentalists fear the mine would devastate the water and land on Oak Flats - part of the Apaches' ancestral territory now held in trust as public land by the federal government. The bill would give around 2,400 acres of public land in southeastern Arizona to Resolution Copper Co. in exchange for around 5,000 acres in several parcels around the state (Gale Courtney Toensing, "Copper mine opposition grows as Senate land swap bill moves forward: San Carlos Apache Tribe, Southwest nations and environmental groups partner against mine project," Indian Country Today, March 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/87462112.html).

Defenders of the Black Hills endorses the designation of the roughly 40,000 acres of National Forest System lands as the Okawita Paha National Monument, including The sacred peak, Opahata I, also known as Harney Peak, considered the "center of all that is" to many Native American nations, and the surrounding Okawita Paha area, literally "Gathering Place," considered a sacred landscape that was used for thousands of years in traditional Native American spiritual and cultural practices. "We support transfer of these lands to management by the National Park Service with a vigorous training program for Native American personnel to be managed as a sacred landscape and wildlife sanctuary. As a sacred landscape, traditional Native American spiritual practices may be freely exercised, spiritual practices that are once again resurfacing after nearly 100 years of suppression." For more information contact Charmaine White Face, coordinator, at (605) 343-5387 or Brian Brademeyer at (605) 574-4152. ("Group seeks designation of sacred landscape: Promotes Okawita Paha National Monument in the Black Hills, Indian Country Today, December 4, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/78529427.html).

Southern California Indian Nations have been calling for a repeal of U.S. 1950's termination era, P.L 280, which gives California and several other states criminal jurisdiction on Indian land, since the tribes held their regional meeting last August. The call for repeal at the August 11 open forum attended by an estimated 200, including a more than 20 tribal leaders, followed a number of violent incidents between tribal members and Riverside County sheriff's deputies that left five Sobobas dead within a six-month span at or near the 6,000-acre Soboba reservation. Soboba Chairman Robert J. Salgado and Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff signed a somewhat tenuous agreement in July intended to decrease tension and improve cooperation, and the sheriff's department has hired a tribal liaison (Victor Morales, "Southern California tribes call for repeal of P.L. 280," Indian Country Today, January 12, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/politics/27100029.html).

The Ohlone Nation is fighting a plan to develop 700 acres of southeast San Francisco, bringing public attention to the issues with a rally at city hall, in April. At issue is the exclusion of Ohlone input in a multimillion dollar housing, shopping and stadium project proposed by the Lennar Corporation, which threatens Ohlone burial grounds. In response to a rally at city hall and letters from Ohlone and the city Human Rights Commission, the city Planning Department has created protocols that include Ohlone consultation if tribal remains or burial artifacts are found. Remains would be ceremonially reburied "at the closest possible location." The Ohlone have not been federally recognized since 1927, when a government agent crossed 135 California tribes off a roster of recognized nations ("Ohlone fighting development with politics and prayer," Indian Country Today, April 22, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/91498814.html).

Americans for Indian Opportunity is celebrating its 40th anniversary, working to improve tribal governance and tribal relations with other governments in the U.S., assisting the development of numerous Indian organizations, running the Ambassadors Program (a two year leadership nurturing program), and working for the development of Advancement of Global Indigeneity - an international Indigenous leadership network. AIO is involved in Teach for America teacher training in July and an 8th grade leadership trip to Washington, DC this summer. For more information contact Americans for Indian Opportunity, 1001 Marquette Avenue, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505/842-8677, LHarris@aio.org, http://www.aio.org.

The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) received a $1.5 million grant, in March, from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation of Brooks, CA ("NARF receives $1.5 million tribal grant," Indian country Today, March 17, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/yourict/88266147.html). NARF is celebrating its 40th anniversary. For more information, go to: http://narfnews.blogspot.com.

International Activities

Sacred Places Convention For Indigenous Peoples provides resources for protecting sacred places world wide, including, news, journals, books and publishing online Weekly News and providing an E-mail list serve. The Sacred Places Convention For Indigenous Peoples conference was held at California State University, Long Beach, CA June 12-13, 2010, hosted by the United Coalition to Protect Panhe, as a two-day planning, capacity building, information sharing and networking session. For more information go to: http://www.indigenouspeoplesissues.com.

The 40 member communities of the Anishinabek Nation are launching a comprehensive information and direct-action campaign against the proposed Harmonized Sales Tax, which Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee has labeled "illegal and immoral." "In our eyes it is illegal for Canada to continue to try and force its legislation on our people without even consulting us, not to mention without our consent," said Madahbee, citing recent Supreme Court decisions and international law requirements that governments accommodate the interests of First Peoples. In addition to the jurisdictional issues, the Anishinabek are concerned about the economic impact that piggy-backing the 8% Ontario retail sales tax and 5% federal Goods and Services Tax would have on Anishinabek households. Madahbee noted that a Senate report on poverty, tabled in December, said the federal government needs to be mindful in creating fiscal policy, as First Nation families are among the most vulnerable in Canada, describing them as "generally poorer and less adequately and affordably housed" than others across the country ("Anishinabek launch campaign against 'illegal, immoral' tax," Indian Country Today, January 25, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/82610757.html).

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Speech, Frank La Rue, filed a case in Guatemala's Constitutional Court against the government, in February, claiming that the existing telecommunications law is in violation of freedom of expression and speech guaranteed in the Guatemalan Constitution. He spoke of this matter at the press conference but has taken action recommending that passing the proposed bill that Cultural Survival and its partners have submitted to Congress will resolve the constitutional violation, and protect Indigenous community radio. There was hope that the bill itself would be put on the agenda in April for the General Assembly of the Congress to debate and vote on in May. For more go to: http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103188010927&s=5868&e=0017i3_-oNfWgVPJuI-ATqLwOiUtRxpbjduYzpPbQMwWzfk3P-8skFY54biLrwFPFT4vOVsixFmCiZBCEdC_MRJxa-bjMpxTbgE4BZKUsA2TYtBxQ1zZAsQWIfRdk3iuNLglVUUfPuBLq551e2DsIrk9tDSI30G_gBD_zgiNmOAp87EjciRt6pT-LnWJGkDGcme2dmJNWK.

Human Rights First has documented human rights abuses in Columbia, and through it reports some progress, with dozens of activists being released while the U.S. Congress passed an appropriations law that put a condition on U.S. aid requiring the Colombian government not to persecute human rights defenders, Human Rights First finds, "Colombia is not holding up on its end of the bargain," particularly the unjust and baseless detention of Carmelo Agamez, "which violates the new condition on U.S. foreign aid to Colombia that requires the Colombian government to respect the rights of activists." For more information go to: http://actions.humanrightsfirst.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1695.

Survival International has been increasingly active in the last months. Its campaigns for Indigenous people in Latin American included supporting Protests outside the Paraguayan embassies in London, Madrid and Paris, January 26, opposing the destruction of land belonging to one of the world's last uncontacted peoples, the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode, who are losing their forest to a Brazilian company bulldozing it to graze cattle for beef in Paraguay. In Paris, a letter was handed in to UNESCO's head office expressing their concern for the Totobiegosode. The forest being destroyed by the cattle-ranchers is part of a UNESCO 'biosphere reserve', but despite pleas from the Totobiegosode to stop the destruction, UNESCO had yet to respond. The company, Yaguarete Pora S.A., recently won Survival's 'Greenwashing Award 2010' for its decision to create a 'nature reserve' on the Totobiegosode's land while destroying thousands of hectares of their forest. Yaguarete denies it is acting illegally and claims the land it is destroying does not belong to the Totobiegosode, despite the fact that many studies prove it belongs to them and a legal claim made by the Totobiegosode is based on one of those studies. Satellite photos clearly show the destruction of the Totobiegosode's forest. They are the only uncontacted tribe in the world losing their land to beef. For details go to http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5469. In April, Survival launched a global add campaign in support of the survival of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode. For details go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5789. Survival also launched a letter writing campaign, in February, and global ad campaign in support of the uncontacted tribes of Peru. "Our aim is to draw the world's attention to what Peru's government is doing to its uncontacted tribes. We're also urging it to scrap plans to build a pipeline deep into the heart of their territory in the north of the country," said Survival director Stephen Corry. Plans for the pipeline were recently revealed by Anglo-French company Perenco, chaired by one of the wealthiest men in France, which plans to extract 300 million barrels of oil from the region, and high-ranking officials in Peru's government, including President Garcia, hope it will transform the Peruvian economy. The government is giving over 70% of its Amazon forest to oil and gas exploration. It will destroy the tribes that live there. Other companies including Repsol YPF, ConocoPhillips, Petrolifera, Petrobras, Pluspetrol and Hunt Oil are all working on land inhabited by uncontacted tribes. Contact could decimate the Indians. Survival, in May, urged President Obama to help protect Peru's uncontacted tribes when he meets with Peruvian president Alan Garcia on June 1, by negotiating with him not to allow the pipeline or oil exploration and drilling in the lands of the uncontacted tribes, as "Working in such areas is a blatant violation of the tribes' rights under international law and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and endangers the lives of some of the most vulnerable people on earth." To read this story online go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5554; http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5857 and http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5992. For more information, please contact Miriam Ross: Tell: (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (+44) (0)7504543367, mr@survivalinternational.org, http://www.survivalinternational.org, or in the US: Christina Chauvenet (before 12 pm EST), (202)525-6972, cc@survivalinternational.org or Tess Thackara (after 12 pm EST), (510)981-1790, tt@survivalinternational.org

In February, Survival International organized protests at Tiffany stores in five countries to protest the company funding water boreholes for game animals on Bushman land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve of Botswana, where the people are forbidden access to their own borehole (See International Developments below). To read this story online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5492. Survival reports, that a London barrister, Gordon Bennett, who represented the Bushmen in their four-year legal battle against the Botswana government after it evicted them from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, has criticized the UK's Foreign Office for failing to acknowledge on its website that the Botswana government illegally and forcibly removed Gana and Gwi Bushmen from their ancestral lands, as the Botswana High Court ruled that in 2006. Mr. Bennett also challenged the Foreign Office's reference to a 'constructive dialogue' between the Bushmen and the government, which it describes as 'ongoing'. 'I remain in regular contact with Bushmen who have returned to the reserve', he said, 'but do not believe that any of them have participated in discussions with the government'. The Foreign Office also says nothing of the government's continued policy of preventing the Bushmen from returning home by banning them from accessing a water borehole on their lands, at the same time as drilling more boreholes for wildlife and allowing the opening of safari lodges with swimming pools on the Bushmen's lands. Nor does it mention the legal proceedings recently launched by the Bushmen in a bid to gain access to their borehole. Mr. Bennett said, 'The FCO will understandably not want to take sides in this dispute, but its website is in danger of misleading the public. The UN Special Rapporteur for indigenous peoples, Professor James Anaya, also recently condemned the Botswana government for denying the Bushmen access to water which he describes as not in keeping with the 'spirit and underlying logic of the [2006 High Court] decision, nor with the relevant international human rights standards'. Anaya also called on the government to reactivate the borehole 'as a matter of urgent priority'. For more information see International Development below, or go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5641. Meanwhile, in May, Survival International asked the World Travel and Tourism Council to withdraw Wilderness Safaris from the list of nominees for its annual awards, as the company built a safari lodge on the ancestral land of the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana without consulting the Bushmen or obtaining their consent. Survival complained when the Council failed to do so, and gave an award to the tourism company. Survival's director, Stephen Corry, said today, 'Awarding a tourism company which has shown no regard for the rights and welfare of indigenous people an accolade such as this is wholly inappropriate. The WTTC needs to withdraw Wilderness Safaris and send a clear message to the tourism industry that the violation of indigenous peoples' rights will not be tolerated.' For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5927.

As Survival International has continued to support the Dongria Kondh tribe of Orrisa India in its struggle to stop the Vedanta Resources from destroying its home land with a major bauxite mining project, the Indigenous rights organization has had to fend off a campaign by Verdanta, apparently attempting to drive off Survival researchers, falsely claiming Survival has been 'forcedly interacting' with the Dongria Kondh tribe, and of causing 'unrest.' Vedanta has prompted a police investigation into Survival, with officers making a late night visit to a hotel where they believed Survival researchers were staying http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5359). Similarly, after the British government, in September, upheld a complaint against FTSE 100 company Vedanta by Survival International, with the government's National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines on multinational enterprises concluding that Vedanta, a British company, had 'failed to respect the human rights' of Dongria Kondh, whose sacred mountain Vedanta wishes to mine, in February, "Vedanta Resources has once again snubbed a British government investigation into its planned mine in Orissa, India, by labeling government calls for a change in its corporate behavior 'one-sided', and urging it to 'rest the case'." Meanwhile, this spring Vedanta's planned mine has attracted a great deal of criticism, from the Church of England, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust to Amnesty International, and the Norwegian government (http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5632). In February, Amnesty International released a report condemning the behavior of FTSE 100 mining company Vedanta Resources of gross human rights violations committed by the company in Orissa, India. A week earlier the Church of England sold its £3.8million shareholding in Vedanta, stating, "We are not satisfied that Vedanta has shown, or is likely in future to show, the level of respect for human rights and local communities that we expect." the Norwegian government and others have also sold their Vedanta shares because of its 'serious violation of fundamental human rights.' (http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5546). In May, following criticism of Vedanta from survival and notice of a planed demonstration, Vedanta Resources' owner Anil Agarwal pulled out of a London conference at the London Business School, where he was due to speak about 'inclusive growth.' A recent report commissioned by the Indian government agreed that Vedanta's mine could mean the 'destruction of the Dongria Kondh' as a distinct people. (http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5936). Survival, in February, appealed to Avatar director James Cameron on behalf of an Indian tribe through an ad in the film industry magazine Variety (published February 8, 2010), asking Mr. Cameron to view Survival's short film on the tribe's plight, and help the Dongria Kondh tribe, whose story is uncannily similar to that of the Na'vi in Avatar. The film, Mine: story of a sacred mountain, is available at: www.survivalinternational.org/mine (http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/552).

Production of SFCG TV and radio drama - soap operas encouraging cooperation, such as The Team, continue in 12 countries, including in Kenya, providing the first instance of tribal stereotypes and conflicts being dealt with on Kenyan television. The Team programs involve the playing of soccer, showing that goals can only be scored if players cooperate. To take advantage of the programs popularity and the celebrity of the cast and the sports stars involved, SFCG is working with its Nairobi-based partners, Media Focus on Africa and the Sports for Social Change Network, to launch a mass campaign to prevent ethnic violence; to promote national unity; and to support Kenyans in having their primary allegiance be to nation, not to tribe. This campaign includes distributing DVDs and CDs around the country and sponsoring showings in remote rural areas, video parlors, and in buses and taxis (which SFCG calls broadcasting). The Côte d'Ivoire version of The Team (L'Equipe in French) is a 31-episode series in which the characters struggle to resolve issues of regional and ethnic violence, land tenure, and national identity. The series began airing weekly last July on RTI, the national TV and radio network. Canal France International (CFI), the satellite broadcaster, has agreed to air the series across all of francophone Africa (to see a short video clip, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3ab7Ljwp0M). One of SCFG's most innovative tools is participatory theater which it has been applying, in combination with other methods to train Congolese troops to stop human rights abuses, and which is also employed in Burundi and Côte d'Ivoire to resolve conflicts over land ownership. For further details contact search@sfcg.org, http://www.sfcg.org.