4. Indigenous Peoples

PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: SYSTEMIC LEGAL CHALLENGES REGARDING RIGHTS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

Tony Oposa is committed to supporting research surrounding legal protection of environmentalists. This is due to his first-hand experience and the loss of a friend of his, an environmentalist in the Philippines. Too often this issue goes hand in hand with the defence of indigenous peoples’ rights. With four environmentalists murdered every week, it is clearly time to work together with international organisations, the civil society, universities and lawyers to make the voices of these ‘voiceless’ people heard.

The Normandy Chair for Peace will recognise those individuals who risk their lives in order to protect the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples, and tell their story. It will ensure this issue is considered within the overall reflections of the Chair.

The Normandy Chair for Peace will study and build upon the deliberation of the UN permanent forum on indigenous issues, and in particular work with indigenous Nations, to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

To establish peace, the Normandy Chair will work for a recognition of Mother Earth – Pachamama – eliminating the doctrine of discovery and replacing the reference to “civilized nations” by a recognition of sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples.

The first key event will take place in Caen on Tuesday 22nd October in the form of a workshop involving four indigenous leaders. A project will also be presented by the alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians to create forest sanctuaries. The Normandy Chair will work with Indigenous Peoples for the protection of sacred nature and the expansion of legal protections for natural areas at all levels.

Another important event has been organised by Professor David Forman in Caen in early June 2020.