Indigenous peoples in Itogon, Benguet province, in the Cordillera region of the Philippines, have been struggling against large-scale corporate mining that endangers their ancestral lands, resources, and ways of life for more than a century. Even today, they continue to wait for social justice. The Benguet Corporation, earlier known as Benguet Consolidated Inc— one of the oldest top-producing gold mining companies founded in 1903 initiated the first underground gold mining operations in Antamok in 1907. The corporation expanded its operation to Acupan and Balatok in 1927.
In this radio program, Cultural Survival speaks to Joan Carling (Kankaney) from the Philippines, and she details how Indigenous Peoples are not getting the recognition they deserve for being stewards of nature.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Sunuwar)
Interviewee: Joan Carling (Kankanaey)
Music: "LIBRES Y VIVAS by MARE ADVETENCIA, used with permission.
In this interview, Cultural Survival's Dev Kumar Sunuwar speaks to Grace Balawang and she explains how direct access to funding for Indigenous Peoples will assist in resolving the problems that come about as a result of loss and damage created by climate change.
Producer: Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Sunuwar)
Interviewee: Grace Balawang (Kankaney Igorot)
Music: "LIBRES Y VIVAS by MARE ADVETENCIA, used with permission.
"Burn your village to the ground", by The Halluci Nation, used with permission.
The Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) defines biodiversity to include the diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems. Such a holistic framing of the CBD thereby weaves humans and our basic needs into the health and resilience of ecosystems. The CBD is the first time in international law that the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is referred to as “a common concern of humankind.”
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is relevant to Indigenous Peoples because it recognizes the interdependence of many Indigenous Peoples and local communities on biological resources and acknowledges the contribution of traditional knowledge for both conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. In this podcast, we hear from Joji Carino (Ibaloi), who tells us more about the International Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Biodiversity's involvement in the CBD. Joji Carino is Senior Policy Adviser of Forest Peoples Programme.
Joan Carling (Kankanaey), Co-convenor of the Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group for Sustainable Development (IPMG), is an Indigenous activist from the Cordillera in the Philippines with more than 20 years of experience in working on Indigenous issues from the grassroots to the international level. Her expertise includes areas like human rights, sustainable development, the environment, climate change, and also the implementation of Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
Joan Carling attended the 26th convening of the Conference of the Parties or COP 26 in Glasgow in November 2021.
When Victoria Tauli-Corpuz was appointed as UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in May 2014, she was ready to take on the challenge of investigating the plight of the world’s Indigenous Peoples and then making her findings public. After a six year stint as special rapporteur, according to her, the mandate was “an uphill battle.” In this program we hear more from Victoria on her tenure as Special Rapporteur.
In Asia, the ancestral lands of many Indigenous Peoples have been cut across national borders. Since anti-terror laws and counter insurgency laws were introduced, Indigenous Peoples have been suspected of being insurgents or terrorists, and have been barred from traveling across borders to visit relatives. There should be no borders for Indigenous Peoples as they have existed in those territories long before these nation States came into being.
Lakes and forests in the Mt. Talinis area of the Phillipines are under threat from recent expansions of the energy industry. Apolinario Carino is working with the organization PENAGMANNAK, a federation of 17 Indigenous Peoples’ community groups, to pioneer community management strategies of reforestation designed to empower the Indigenous groups to shape the future of their lands. Apolinario hopes to share the knowledge that they have gained from these experiences in order to better combat climate change on a global scale.
The Kalinga Mission for Indigenous Children and Youth, led by Donato Bumacas, promotes values of biodiversity conservation, with the goal of poverty reduction. These values are upheld using Indigenous traditional knowledge systems andd technologies to conserve and maintain the local forests. Sustainable Indigenous agricultural technology is implemented, with the goal of passing these systems down to future generations, as this knowledge was passed down to them.
UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2017, 16th Session
Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Kumar/Sunuwar) asks Joan Carling, longtime advocate for Indigenous rights and former expert member to the UNPFII, how she assesses the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in Asia.
"Remember Your Children," by Salidummay
Music from a seashell, recorded at the opening ceremony of the 16th UNPFII
Indigenous solidarity has coalesced into a powerful movement thanks to the activism and perseverance of Indigenous leaders from communities around the world. Indigenous leaders that are defending land, language, culture, and the environment face acute persecution, both from governments directly and from extrajudicial actors.
UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Vicky Tauli-Corpuz discusses the challenges faced by Indigenous peoples in protecting their claim to ancestral lands in the face of government-sanctioned landgrabbing in the name of conservation.
Music: Melodies of Nepal, by classical Instrumental band Sur Sudha
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz (Igorot Kankanaey, Philippines), a long-time activist and UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, shares her experience with successes of small, local groups reaching out to the international community to collaborate in better defending their rights. She explains how her experience as a nurse led to community engagement, which quickly turned into a passion for advocating for the needs of community members as an activist.
This program is dedicated to Joan Carling, an activist from the Kankanaey people of the Philippines. She has served as an Expert Member on the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during 2014 and 2016, and as the Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Pact. In this interview, she explains the benefits of the participation of Indigenous Peoples in local and global decision-making, which would bring a diversity of perspective and solutions to pressing issues.
UN Special Rapporteur Vicky Tauli Corpuz discusses the international trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is being negotiated by Canada,The United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. She discusses why governments are pushing for it, and its implications for Indigenous Peoples.
Bestang Dekdeken discusses the problems with FPIC as it is currently enforced in the Philippines, for example, how mining coorporations and extractive industries are able to find loopholes in FPIC in order to carry out their projects.
Indigenous leader and Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples' Alliance of the Philippines gives his perspective on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. "The bottom line in advancing the recognition of Indigenous Peoples' rights is fighting for these rights right in our own territories and communities."
Indigenous leader and Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples' Alliance of the Philippines shares expectations of the Climate March and its importance to Indigenous Peoples. "In resolving climate change, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous Peoples' participation is fundamental."