International body bats for rights of indigenous people 

Forty three organisations fighting climate change from across 24 countries said the Indian government should vigorously defend the Forest Rights Act in court. 

Published: 23rd July 2019 11:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2019 11:56 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Forty-three organisations fighting climate change from across 24 countries said the Indian government should vigorously defend the Forest Rights Act in court. 

A statement issued said that the government must ensure the legal and policy changes strengthen the rights of locals and indigenous communities rather than weakening them. This comes ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing on eviction of tribals in the country.

It had asked states to file affidavits on the issue. The groups said the protection of local communities’ rights over forests and land was a crucial weapon in the fight against climate change. Actions taken in the name of climate change should not threaten their rights, they added.

The Forest Rights Act attempts to reverse historical injustices and tries to recognise the rights of local, indigenous and forest dwelling communities, said Campaign for Survival and Dignity, an umbrella group which advocates of  forest rights.

In addition to India, the countries which have signed the statement include Peru, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Cameroon, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Malaysia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Palestine - Israel, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the USA, and Vietnam.

‘Reverse historical injustices’
The Forest Rights Act attempts to reverse historical injustices and tries to recognise the rights of local, indigenous and forest dwelling communities, said Campaign for Survival and Dignity

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