Posts Tagged ‘Hector Huertas’

One of Earth Peoples co-ounder’s Hector Huertas explains the decision of indigenous peoples of Panama to withdraw from the UN-REDD process

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Below is a statement from one of Earth Peoples co-founders Hector Huertas, on behalf of the Legal Counsel to COONAPIP, explaining the decision to withdraw from the UN-REDD process

The National Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples of Panama (COONAPIP) is a body with representation from the seven Indigenous Peoples of Panama and was identified by the UN-REDD Programme as a key actor in planning the national REDD strategy for Panama. However, COONAPIP is concerned that in the “consultation” process both the government of Panama and UN officials refuse to comply with indigenous rights recognized by the Panamanian State and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For example, the officials refuse to recognize that almost 76% of the forests of Panama are found in indigenous lands and territories, which Indigenous Peoples have inalienable rights to, and which are recognized by the constitution and Panamanian law. Furthermore, it is contradictory that, on one hand, the officials minimalize the importance of indigenous issues for REDD, and on the other, allow logging companies to participate.

Indigenous Peoples have made it clear that a REDD strategy must first ensure the implementation of the nationally and internationally recognized rights of Indigenous Peoples. However, the UN-REDD officials say that it is not a priority of the Programme to help secure the land rights of Indigenous Peoples who do not have collective deeds and whose land has had protected areas superimposed upon them.

With regards to the issue of full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, the UN officials and the Panamanian government are dividing indigenous communities with money from the Programme to force supposed consultations. This unethical and reprehensible procedure prompted COONAPIP to stop participating in a process whose objective is to privatize the forests of Panama in violation of the Panamanian constitution and laws, and allow the State to cash in on carbon credits in utter contempt for the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Hector Huertas, Esquire
Legal Counsel of COONAPIP

Earth Peoples co-founder José Carlos Morales term at UN Independent Experts on the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples expired

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) was established by the Human Rights Council, the UN’s main human rights body, in 2007 under Resolution 6/36 as a subsidiary body of the Human Rights Council.

We are very proud that José Carlos Morales, one of Earth Peoples co-founders, served since the beginning of EMRIP for the period 2008 – 2013 as one of five independent experts. His term expired this month, after five years of devotion and hard work to strengthen the indigenous cause for indigenous peoples worldwide.

José Carlos Morales (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

José Carlos Morales (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

José Carlos Morales, from the indigenous people Brunka Indians (also known as the Boruca or the Brunca) was also the first indigenous Latin American to be honored to be the president of the World Council of Indigenous People, as well as earning the title as the Focal Point of the Decade for Indigenous People in the United Nations. Morales also presided as president of the Regional Council of Indigenous People, making him a true source of pride for his people, the Brunka Tribe from Costa Rica.

He also proudly represented the World Enclave of Indigenous People for three whole years before becoming involved with the United Nations, where he was one of the active indigenous leaders during the United Nations Declaration on the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights negotiation process.

He is certainly known an “old timer” in the world’s global indigenous movement, together with many others that have devoted their live, time and money to push for indigenous rights at the local, national and international level, such as Andrea Carmen (IITC), Kenneth Deer and Petuuche Gilbert from IWA, Mililani Trask, Hector Huertas, Tanya Frichner (AILA), Saudata Aboubacrine,  Arthur Manuel (INET),  (Wilton Littechild (IRIOD) among many others.

Wilton Littechild’s and Annie Lasimbang’s term as EMRIP independent experts’ expire next year, in 2014.

The Expert Mechanism is made up of five independent experts on the rights of indigenous peoples. The experts are appointed by the Human Rights Council which is to give due regard to experts of indigenous origin as well as to gender balance and geographic representation.

More information about the members of the Expert Mechanism can be found here:
members of the Expert Mechanism.

Also watch the video about the Expert Mechanism, which has been produced to raise awareness about the Expert Mechanism.

Work done so far, and published on EMRIPs website:

Expert Mechanism Advice
In association with each of its studies, and the associated theme, the Expert Mechanism drafts advice to contribute to international jurisprudence being developed on the issue under study.

Advice No 4 (2012) on Indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision making, with a focus on extractive industries
IAdvice No 3 (2012) on Indigenous peoples’ languages and cultures
Advice No 2 (2011) on Indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision making
Advice No. 1 (2009) on the Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education


How to get accreditation for the sessions of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

Click here for information and forms on HOW TO PARTICIPATE

According to paragraph 9 of resolution 6/36, the meeting of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples shall be open to the participation of observers through an open and transparent accreditation procedure in accordance with the rules of the Human Rights Council.

What we like about Geneva, and the United Nations Human Rights folks up there is that they understand the needs of representatives of indigenous peoples organizations and representatives of NGOs not in consultative status with ECOSOC, and you are allowed to register; (You do NOT need status to the UN).


Those required to complete the online registration process to attend the next session of the Expert Mechanism are invited to complete the three steps accreditation procedure by:

Preparing a letter requesting accreditation, according to the description below, which can be uploaded to the online registration form.
Complete the online registration form, Spanish and French (include the letter requesting accreditation and the registration information).
Print, fill and bring to the session the Conference Registration Form (no need to be sent to the Secretariat).