Forum invitation 2008

INVITATION TO THE FORUM CONFERENCE 2008 AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TROMSØ, NORWAY, OCTOBER 22TH – 23TH, 2008

“Indigenous Peoples, Natural Environments and Climate changes”

We hereby invite you or your organization to this year’s conference hosted by the Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples. The conference takes place at the University of Tromsø on October 22nd – 23rd 2008. The title of the Forum conference 2008 is ”Indigenous Peoples, Natural Environments and Climate changes”.

This year’s conference will focus on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Changes. Papers will trace the impact for Indigenous Peoples on the climate changes globally. The expansion of Oil Palms and Bio Fuel will also be highlighted at the conference.

The close ties to the land and the quest for control over traditional territories has been central in the Indigenous struggle. A central question will be: How are indigenous rights affected by the expansion of Oil Palms and Bio Fuel? The speakers will in different ways address the question above.

Demand for bio fuels is destroying tribal peoples’ land and lives, according to indigenous representatives at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), meeting currently in New York.

A report presented to the UNPFII refers to ‘increasing human rights violations, displacements and conflicts due to expropriation of ancestral lands and forests for bio fuel plantations.’ One of the report’s authors, UNPFII chairperson Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, has said that if bio fuels expansion continues as planned, 60 million indigenous people worldwide are threatened with losing their land and livelihoods.

Malaysia, Indonesia and Colombia all plan to expand their palm oil plantations. Indonesia has announced plans for plantations in Borneo, projected to displace up to 5 million indigenous people, and 5 million hectares, much of it indigenous land, has been set aside for palm oil in Papua. Colombia is planning 6.3 million hectares of plantations, which could affect more than 100 indigenous communities.

Among our key note speakers is Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. Tauli-Corpuz (Igorot) , an indigenous activist from the Cordillera region in the Philippines and co-president of the board of the International Forum on Globalization. She is head of the Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education) in the Philippines. Tauli-Corpuz is also chairperson of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations and convenor of the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network. She is the elected chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz will in her speech focus on The Oil Palm Industry and the lack of protection of Indigenous Peoples Rights.

Among our speakers we also have invited Mina Susana Setra who is a member of the Pompakng Peoples, a sub-group of the Dayaks, who live on the Island of Borneo. Mina Susana Setra represents Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara [AMAN] or Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago. AMAN is an independent social organisation composed of indigenous people’s communities from the whole of the country. The Alliance is aimed to be an organisation for indigenous peoples to struggle for their existence and rights inherited with it as well as to struggle for sovereignty in running their lives and in managing their natural resources. Mina Susana Setra will focus on “Palm Oil and Land Acquisition in Indonesia – Implications for Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples”.

The Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples is a meeting place for researchers, development workers and Sámi organisations engaged in cooperation with indigenous peoples in the South. By initiating important debates concerning policies and practice, the Forum seeks to improve the quality of Norway’s development co-operation with indigenous peoples elsewhere.

“Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples” was established in 2000, and is a meeting place for researchers, development workers, administrators and activists working with indigenous peoples’ issues, and where they can share experiences from their work with different development projects related to indigenous peoples. The Forum has a Board located with the Centre for Sámi Studies at the University of Tromsø, with external representation from other research institutions, Indigenous advocacy NGOs and the Sámi Council. The Forum provides a focus on national and transnational strategies concerning indigenous peoples, and how this influences the capacity and ability of indigenous peoples to shape and control their own development.

The conference languages will be English, Spanish and Sami. The conference program and information will be published on this homepage: http://www.sami.uit.no/forum/.

The number of participants is limited to 200. The registration deadline is set to October13th 2008. Please register for this year’s Forum conference by using the registration form on our web pages: http://www.sami.uit.no/forum/.

Sincerely

Professor
Georges Midré
Leader of the advisory board
Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples

Terje G. Lilleeng
Higher Executive Officer