State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2012. Events of 2011: Focus on land rights and natural resources

One of the overriding threats facing minorities and indigenous peoples in every region of the world is the risk of being driven from their land and natural resources, which are vital for their livelihoods,
their culture and often their identity as a people. While today’s threats to indigenous peoples and
minorities are not new, their scale and severity have reached new proportions. Unprecedented demand for the world’s remaining resources, combined with new technologies to extract previously inaccessible resources in the remotest regions, are putting even the most isolated minorities and indigenous peoples under increasing threat from governments and private companies wanting to profit from the resources
found on or under their lands. The report presents concrete evidence of how the generation of vast revenues from logging and dams, oil and mineral extraction, coastal tourism, fish farming, conservation parks and large-scale agriculture, is often at the expense of the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities. Despite new commitments from governments and corporations, the revenues from natural resource development continue to flow out of the regions where poor communities live, while the harms stay behind.

Published 2012-06-29