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08-09: Can New Data Sources Help Protect Indigenous Rights?
The New Safeguard Standards for Indigenous People: Where do we start?
Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, Canada
On August 4, 2016 the World Bank's Board of Directors approved new environmental and social framework, modernizing a decades-old set of policies aimed at preventing Bank funded development projects from harming the environment and people. Standard 7 on indigenous peoples is the policy that sets up standards that borrowing countries are expected to follow to protect indigenous rights The paper examines models for development on lands where competing assertions of State authority and indigenous land rights show no likelihood of foreseeable resolution. It analyzes the international legal instruments intended to address this friction, including the new safeguards, and then reports on the Grand Bend Wind Project in Canadian province of Ontario, and the policies on which it relies, as a case study for successfully implementing the objectives of these legal interests, and allowing a project to proceed notwithstanding claim uncertainty.
Contribution of Open Data to Protect Indigenous People’s Livelihood, Land Security and Natural Resources Sustainability
1Heinrich Boell Foundation Cambodia; 2Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Organization; 3Open Development Cambodia
Cambodia remains a country in which the large majority of the people still lives in the countryside. It is therefore more complicated to assess the diversity of people’s livelihood, and to make clear census on population, in comparison to more urban countries. The need for information is crucial in Cambodia, in order to facilitate decision-making, to preserve indigenous people way of living, and to conserve one of the country’s greater asset: its natural resources.
The lack of transparency regarding Cambodian development highlights the potential benefits of open data for the country, which serves both Cambodian people, official authorities, as well as anyone interested in the country’s evolution. The knowledge spreads by open data initiatives also contribute in enforcing the rule of law in Cambodia, for it provides people a better understanding of their rights and duties, while underlining the potential flaws of the existing policies. Land titling, land concessions, and land disputes including the territory of indigenous peoples are among the hottest current issues in Cambodia. Group of NGOs in Cambodia believe that open data helps clarifying these types of conflicts, and could be useful both for indigenous people, but also to representative authorities into their legal enforcement duty.
Using open data and digital mapping to aggregate evidence for identifying and protecting indigenous people’s lands and resources in Cambodia
Open Development Cambodia (ODC), Cambodia
Cambodia’s 24 indigenous communities have traditionally managed nearly 4 million hectares of remote forests. Their wellbeing is tied to land security.
Today they face threats from fast economic growth. It is common for indigenous communities to find agricultural or mining concessions encroaching on their land, logging companies clearing their forests or dam builders forcing them to relocate. Land alienation means loss of livelihood and tradition, poorer health and education.
Agencies addressing the problems can find it difficult to source reliable independent data to inform and underpin their work. Data is often dated, incomplete or slanted to an agenda.
Data aggregation and digital mapping in an open data environment provide one solution. Open Development Cambodia (ODC) an independent, politically-neutral body, aggregates data and develops interactive maps and datasets accessible in English and Khmer.
Users synthesize data to their needs, for example matching indigenous lands with economic land concessions to find overlaps and support the alteration or revoking of concessions, or locating indigenous communities in mineral exploration areas, guiding on who should be consulted and compensated.
ODC’s development-focused open data initiative offers a model for developing areas globally.
This paper bridges two conference themes, around data technologies and securing land rights.
Itenure- New Tool For Land Claim Registration And Legal Advice On Land Tenure Status
1People in Need, Cambodia; 2Open Institute, Cambodia; 3University Collage London
In Cambodia, thousands of people are affected by land conflicts. Country’s regulations regarding land expropriation, titling and conflict resolution are fairly complex and many people are not aware of their rights.
It has been demonstrated that general i.e. not household specific information and advice provided by CSOs to beneficiaries is not particularly useful. Moreover, it may cause some distrust between CSOs, communities and local authorities, which may consider such actions as inciting.
A household specific assessment of a land claim, legal analysis and advice is considered more effective. The reports documenting the claim including maps, names of claimants, etc. can be used in the court as support documentation. A legal advice referenced to the local legislation makes claimants more confident when in the court or during negotiations with government officials. However, it is time consuming to collect, analyze and provide information to thousands of claimants. Moreover, the legal language used in the advice sheet may not be understandable to the people whose level of education and literacy is low.
This paper explores how new technologies offer number of solutions which can be used to speed up such processes and improve communication.