June 8-9, 2015
UiT – The Arctic University of Norway – Tromsø, Norway
‘We need to be bold’ she says, ‘and ask ourselves if we are doing nothing but the best to protect biodiversity in the Arctic’. Standing tall, albeit small, Aile Javo from the Saami Council carries on; ‘Are we doing all we can, are we doing the right work with the Arctic Council?’
When we talk about the dealings between business and human rights for indigenous people, the task of addressing issues and implementing ‘protection mechanism’ seems almost unsurmountable. However, ‘it depends on what perspective and the context of the place from where we are looking at the issues’ says Hans Petter Graver, the Chair of OECD National Contract Point Norway. In the seminar titled “Businesses and human rights of indigenous peoples: challenges and protection mechanisms” organized by The Rainforest Foundation Norway and Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous People on 4th of November 2014 in Oslo, Graver gave an interesting presentation on how OECD guidelines have served to protect the rights of indigenous people and what responsibilities OECD guidelines play in Norwegian companies and investment institutions.
How does Sami international solidarity looks like? What is it and how can it be done? For decades the Sami community has been part of the international community of Indigenous Peoples. The international dimension has been essential in the advancement of all three side; political, cultural and spiritual development.
“When an indigenous person loses his/her land, s/he is no longer an individual, no longer ‘somebody’. That is how important land is to indigenous people because land is identity”, remarked Rukka Sombolinggi of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), Indoneisa. Addressing the seminar titled “Businesses and human rights of indigenous peoples: challenges and protection mechanisms.” held by The Rainforest Foundation Norway and Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous People on 4th of November 2014 in Oslo, Rukka exemplified how land territory and resources provide meaning to the existence of indigenous people.
Current business development is filled with catchy words such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR). There is accumulating awareness about how businesses should have some form of ethical and social responsibility. Businesses have, at the least, the financial and political power to do so. However, the fundamental purpose of most businesses is a linear construction towards profit, so what are the obligations of businesses, especially when it comes to Indigenous Peoples?
The Rainforest Foundation and the Forum for Development Cooperation of Indigenous Peoples welcomed last Tuesday Nov. 4 the seminar: “Businesses and human rights of indigenous peoples: challenges and protection mechanisms.”
“There are already several treaties and agreements. Even though it represents an essential foundation, we need to move forward with solid implementation. We need tools to strengthen the importance of these documents.” Directly from the start, these words from Rukka Sombolinggi of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) have set the tone of the seminar.
Rainforest Foundation and the Forum for Development Cooperation of Indigenous Peoples welcomes the half-day seminar: “Business and human rights of indigenous peoples: challenges and protection mechanisms.”
Today’s intensive hunt for resources leads to increased pressure on indigenous land, territories and way of life.