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24 May, 2005

Indigenous Peoples Gaining A Voice

More than 300 million strong, the world’s indigenous peoples are beginning to make themselves heard in international arenas like the new United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and at the national level, where their growing numbers are translating into political muscle.

A number of stories on these issues are included in the latest dispatch of Inter-Press Service News Agency (IPS), a leading provider of news coverage on the events and global processes affecting the economic, social and political development of peoples and nations. Backed by a network of journalists in 100+ countries, IPS clients include more than 3,000 media organizations and tens of thousands of civil society groups, academics, and other users.

The local writers of Inter Press Service [http://www.ipsnews.net] provide a refreshingly different perspective from that of the mainstream networks and news agencies of the “developed world”. In this collection of stories, IPS endeavours to transmit these indigenous voices and untangle their issues for a global audience. Because of the strong linkage between tourism and the future of global indigenous people, many in the tourism industry will find these stories very valuable, as follows:

Indigenous People Say Global Model Has Got It Wrong

UNITED NATIONS, May 20 (IPS) – Indigenous people at global talks here through the end of next week are urging international development and financial institutions to redirect funding to poverty reduction strategies that protect their rights to land, resources, and traditional culture.


Protecting Machu Picchu from Too Many Tourists

LIMA – The Peruvian government has a new conservation plan in the works for its most important archaeological attraction: the Inca city of Machu Picchu, under threat from the excessive flow of tourists through its ruins. But local tourism operators oppose any effort to reduce the number of visits to the site.


Violence Widens Gap Between Remote Indigenous Communities and State

LIMA – The murder of a four-person visiting health brigade in Peru’s northern Amazon jungle region, blamed on members of the Awajún indigenous community, highlighted the distance between the Peruvian state and the country’s large aboriginal population.


Latin America’s Indigenous People Marginalised – World Bank

WASHINGTON – More than 40 million indigenous people in Latin America suffer persistent disadvantages compared with non-indigenous people on almost every human development indicator from education to health and poverty despite gains in political representation, the World Bank said Wednesday.


Montes Azules Reserve at the Eye of the Storm

MEXICO CITY – Located in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve brings together an explosive mix of irregular human settlements, guerrilla groups, the logging and burning of forests, plundering of species, and opposing visions of how to manage this natural wealth.


No Solution in Sight to Mapuche Land Dispute

SANTIAGO – One year after a report critical of Chile by the United Nations special rapporteur for indigenous rights, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, there is little evidence of progress towards a solution to the Mapuche land conflict.


For Cameroon’s Pygmies, No Forest Is Impenetrable Enough

YAOUNDE – With no telephone connection to the outside world, and a single access road that is little more than a forest trail, the village of Lomie might as well be situated at the other side of the earth as far as many Cameroonians are concerned.

Reparations for Victims of Political Violence One Step Closer to Reality

LIMA – Reparations for the hundreds of thousands of victims of the internal armed conflict that raged in Peru between 1980 and 2000 have come one step closer to reality following a series of meetings by government authorities and officials at the Council of Ministers headquarters.


Indigenous Peoples Divided by Faith

MEXICO CITY – Indigenous communities throughout Latin America are facing the loss of their cultural traditions, divisive conflicts, and in some cases even bloodshed, all in the name of God.


Putting Community Radio on the Map in Africa

NAIROBI – Few would dispute that community radio stations play a valuable role in informing people about events in their neighbourhood – and giving a voice to those who might be denied a platform by larger media organisations.. It’s a shame, then, that governments often hamper the development of community radio.


And many more: http://ipsnews.net/new_focus/indigenous_peoples/

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